Google has been working on some variation of a bottom bar in Android’s Chrome browser for nearly four years. It started as ‘Chrome Home,’ which moved the entire address bar to the bottom of the screen, but it was later revamped into ‘Duplex,’ later renamed to ‘Duet’ to avoid confusion with the Google Assistant feature of the same name. Now it appears the long-running interface experiment is gone for good.
Chrome 84, which just entered the Beta channel, has removed the two feature flags for Duet: #enable-duet-tabstrip-integration and #enable-chrome-duet. They can still be seen on the flags list in Chrome 84 if you enable #temporary-unexpire-flags-m82 and #temporary-unexpire-flags-m83, but even after that, enabling the Duet flags don’t seem to do anything. The unexpire flags also have a description that reads, “These flags will be removed soon,” indicating that Duet is probably gone for good.
Chrome Duet on Chrome 83
Chrome Duet in its latest form adds a toolbar to the bottom of the screen with a few shortcut buttons, similar to what Samsung Internet and Opera already offer. The address bar remained at the top of the screen, but it could be opened by tapping the search icon in the bottom bar — making Chrome slightly easier to use on super-tall phones.
There’s a chance Google could once again re-tool the interface into a new design with a new flag, but for now, it seems like Chrome Home/Duplex/Duet is dead.
- Vineet Shrivastava,