Chrome 79 is ready for public consumption, and while it adds new features and tweaks, it’s also the last chance most users will have to use a handful of hidden Chrome features.
As Android Police reports, Chrome 80 beta testers have noticed that several features that are still present in Chrome 79 are missing, including a few long-awaited features that will be dropped once Chrome 80 goes public.
Below is a list of the soon-to-be-dropped features that are still around in Chrome 79 but will be nixed in version 80. Most of these can be enabled in Chrome by going to chrome://flags/ and using the search bar to find the flags listed below, then set the dropdown box to “enabled.”
Despite testing out the feature for a few months now, Google will be dropping its planned reader mode before it even gets off the ground.
You can still enable it in Chrome 79 by setting the #reader-mode-heuristics and #enable-reader-mode-in-cct flags to “enabled,” but it’ll be gone in Chrome 80.
Hiding suggested articles
If you prefer to not have your new tab windows cluttered with browsing suggestions, I have some bad news: hiding suggested articles from new Chrome tab windows will no longer be possible by disabling the #enable-ntp-remote-suggestions flag. However, you’re still able to hide them permanently by clicking the three-dots “more” icon next to the “Articles for you” section of a blank new tab page and tapping “hide.”
Overscroll and horizontal tab switching
Two navigation options have been removed from Chrome Mobile in the Chrome 80 beta, and presumably will be absent once the public release launches. The first is overscroll, a gesture-based control that lets you move back and forwards within a tab by swiping left or right. The other is the horizontal tab switcher, which changes the layout of tabs in your open tabs tray from the default vertical orientation to horizontal.
If you’ve never tried these out, you can enable either feature in the Chrome flags settings in Chrome 79. Search for and enable #overscroll-history-navigation flag for overscrolling, or #enable-horizontal-tab-switcher to use the horizontal tab switcher while it’s still around.
While many File Transfer Protocol (FTP) tools still exist, Google says that the use of FTP services has dropped for Chrome users to the point where it’s no longer worth supporting the feature. Chrome’s FTP support will slowly be phased out over the next few releases, beginning with Chrome 80. You can still technically re-enable it in Chrome 80 by turning on the #enable-ftp flag, but this will be removed entirely with the rollout of Chrome 82, so get in those last transfers while you can.
If you want to see what a Chrome stripped of these features will be like—as well as a handful of new features coming soon—you can download the Chrome 80 beta here.
Editor's Note: This article has the US release date. We will update this article as soon as possible with an Australian release date, if available.