Google tracks your activities across all of your devices, which would be terrible if it weren’t so damn useful. We’ve all gone back into our browser history to look for anything from a few days ago, whether it’s a recipe, a nearby restaurant, or that long-read you didn’t finish. Google hopes to make it easy to start up where you left off with two new Chrome experiments.
The most intriguing of these two new additions is “Journeys,” a space for automatically clustered data alongside related search phrase suggestions. As the name suggests, Google Journeys was created largely for travel planning, bringing together all of your numerous attractions, restaurants, and hotels into one convenient location. It is not, however, confined to your next vacation. The company’s example screenshot displays information on the Nest Audio, such as a YouTube video highlighting its feature set and store listings where you may purchase one.
As one might assume, Google is addressing some of the most pressing privacy concerns for this product right away. Journeys can be disabled at any time, and the content of your browsing history is deleted once you clean it. You can also delete certain Journey entries with a single command. Most importantly, none of this information is associated with your account; it is intended just for local devices. This constraint may create some aggravation for customers who want to combine information across computers, smartphones, and tablets; nevertheless, Google has stated that an account-wide version will be considered based on user feedback.
Journeys is currently available as an experiment on Chrome Canary, with plans to continue refining and developing it before making it available to a wider audience.
It isn’t the only thing Google is experimenting with to increase consumer access to search results. In the Chrome OS Dev channel, a new side panel allows anybody to browse results and sites at the same time. You could use this functionality to click on a certain listing and return to your most recent search without leaving either page. While the side panel is normally closed, opening it is as simple as clicking the “G” button next to search.
Despite the current limitation of Chrome OS, this capability could ultimately be extended to other platforms, along with support for search engines other than Google. For the time being, both experiments will continue to use smaller test groups as the firm gathers feedback.