New Flag in Chrome 70 Brings Tab History With a Long Press of The Back Button

In Chrome OS and Chrome for desktop (Chrome for MacOS, Chrome for Windows, and Chrome for Linux), if you long press the back arrow while you are on a browser page, you will get your recent browsing history for that tab.  It is a handy feature.  On Android however, when you long press the back button on your phone while in Chrome you get… nothing.  You can press the button as long as you want but it will just take you back to your previous page.

That looks to be changing in Chrome 70.

A new flag has popped up in the Chrome for Android Canary app, which is based on Chrome 70, that allows you to enable the back button on your phone to display you recent tab history.

The flag in question is #long-press-back-for-history.  It is set to default when you open it up but you can set it to Enable then restart the app to get the new feature.  Once enabled, after you have been browsing, you can long press the back button on your phone to get your browsing history.

Tab History With a Long Press of The Back Button in Chrome 70
Tab History With a Long Press of The Back Button in Chrome 70

While it isn’t clear if this will be enabled by default once we get to Chrome 70, if the flag remains then you will at least have the option.  That’s good enough for me although it would be great to see this be the default behavior if not on the 70 release, one shortly thereafter.

The 70 build of Chrome for Android, desktops, and Chrome OS is not expected until mid-October so there is plenty of time for this feature to be tested.  Right now, it is only in the Canary build of Chrome for Android which anyone can download.  Just be aware that this is the pre-alpha code of the browser so crashes happen and odd behavior pops up here and there.