Google app bug opens all websites in chrome/browser

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With the first beta channel release of 2022, the Google app introduced a bug that sees its custom Chrome tab break and all web pages open in your default browser on Android.

Update 11/12: This issue has been resolved via a server-side update and the toggle is now usable.


Original 1/11: Previously, opening a Discover article or search result opened a transparent Chrome custom tab that basically kept you in the Google app. It featured a custom toolbar and was quite fast. You have always been able to disable CCT and open links in your default browser.

This Google bug sees that last capability become the only option, and makes for a slightly slower experience that comes with a second or two of animations due to opening a brand new app. Also, it’s annoying if you only look at the current page for a few seconds and have to quickly return to the search results.

Besides the broken feature, the relevant preference toggle in Google app settings > General is also broken. “Open webpages in app” is grayed out and should be enabled, but it clearly isn’t.

The Google app 13.0 beta was rolled out on Friday, and this browser issue persists in yesterday’s 13.1 release. It comes as Google Search on Android has been testing a non-CCT custom browser for most of the past year. This experience has thankfully been deactivated for the past few months and hopefully Google has abandoned this personalized approach, with out-of-sync cookies and history being annoying flaws in this approach.

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