In-app browsers are usually not the best way to consume content in an app. In fact, Android developers have been using the Chrome custom tabs features to fine-tune the experience. Now Google is rolling out new features — such as partial custom tabs and auto-filling passwords — to make in-app browsing on its mobile operating system smoother.
The partial custom tabs feature gives developers more control around the initial launch height of a tab. For instance, they can have the tab open on half a screen when a user clicks on an article link. This allows users to interact with the app and in-app browsers simultaneously. Google says that partial custom tabs are supported by select in-app browsers, including Chrome.
The search giant is also rolling out the ability for users to fill in passwords and other saved details like addresses without leaving the app. This is handy when an app has an in-app browser login popup.
Google is advocating Chrome custom tabs over WebView, claiming it offers more functionality.
“When adding a web experience to your Android app, simply launching a browser from your app forces users to leave your app, with the risk of abandonment for that session. WebViews allow you to build your own in-app browser, but can be a complex process with higher maintenance overhead,” Google said in a blog post.