Google plans to better integrate other search engines in its browser by giving developers access to a new Embedded Search API. On the Chromium blog, Chrome software engineer David Holloway has explained how the development team is currently working on the implementation details that will allow other providers to display a search box on Chrome’s New Tab Page (NTP). Currently, the search engine in Chrome can only be changed for the browser’s “omnibox” (which combines search functionality with the address bar).
Apparently, the developers found that, even with the omnibox preferences changed, many users still navigate to the web sites of the search engines anyway. By allowing search providers to customise the NTP, the developers want “to save people time by helping them search and navigate the web faster”, says Holloway. Google will begin to roll out a number of different implementations of the new feature to “a small set of users” of the Chrome Dev channel on Windows and Chrome OS. They will currently only be offered to users who have their search preference set to Google’s search; those users should “begin seeing variations of the new experience”. An implementation on the Mac version of Chrome is planned to come soon.
The blog post does not specify when the new feature will be available in the Chrome builds for Linux. The developers are soliciting for feedback via the Chromium bug tracker from users who do receive one of the new implementations.