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Hide Chrome Incognito Tabs in Android’s Recent Apps Screen

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If you are a Google Chrome user, you know what Incognito Mode is for sure. It is Chrome’s version of private browsing window. Currently, these tabs are visible in Android’s “Recent Apps” screen. Google will soon add an option to hide incognito tabs from this view.

Android currently shows your Incognito tabs in the recent apps. Along with it, Chrome also shows an icon on your notifications bar. This icon is to inform you that you have an Incognito tab open. It also works as a shortcut to close your existing Incognito tabs. Yea, you can’t tap this icon and view those tabs, it just closes them.

chrome-incognito

Showing Incognito tabs in the Recents screen isn’t exactly “private” mode. That should be why Google wants to hide this. I could not access the bug that is associated with this code change that I stumbled upon, so I wouldn’t know if this was a request from users, or how long has it been in the queue.

The Code

Here is the code change request:

Hide incognito tab snapshot in Android Recents

Sets attributes flags to secure if there is an incognito tab visible
on the screen using TabModelSelectorObserver & OverviewModeObserver

This will soon show up as an experimental feature on chrome://flags. Here is the code for that:

/** Switch to enable incognito tabs to be seen in Android Recents. */
public static final String ENABLE_INCOGNITO_SNAPSHOTS_IN_ANDROID_RECENTS =
“enable-incognito-snapshots-in-android-recents”;

From the way this description is written, Incognito tabs will be hidden by default. We will know for sure only when the feature makes it to Chrome or Chrome Canary, which is where such features show up first.

So, what is your preference? Would you have these tabs hidden, or visible on the Recent Apps menu to access them easily. It depends on what we usually open using Incognito tabs, right?

Yes, I thought so too.



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