Here is the latest update to Chrome’s side panel: a URL bar. Yes, you can open websites on the side panel.
Side Panel Webview
Google recently added many features to the side panel including feed and customization options. The latest addition to this list Webview, an option open web pages.
Here is the new flag from the Canary channel of Google Chrome:
Side panel webview: Adds a side panel option to load arbitrary web content, with a URL bar. – Mac, Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, Fuchsia, Lacros.
Here is the comment from the code change request:
“This change adds a new side panel item: a web view, which starts off showing the dinosaur game but can be navigated to any other URL. This will be used for some UX experimentation and prototyping; it will never be enabled for any real users in this form.”
It is unlikely that Google wants to add a tiny browser to the side panel. Review is used by other apps to open web content using Chrome infrastructure. You will see this a lot on Android.
Using webview, Google can make the side panel do a lot, pretty much anything a browser can do.
Are you excited about this feature as I am? Let me know in the comments section below.