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Google Chrome MOBILE 2016 there is no way to set Home Page or disable Thumbnails

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c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Chrome 49.0.2623.91
on
Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (API level 23)
OS: CyanogenMod 13

• MOBILE (not Desktop) Google Chrome does not allow you to set your own Home Page any more.
• MOBILE (not Desktop) Google Chrome now has mandatory recently visited pages thumbnails which display prominently as soon as you start Google Chrome on any portable device.


Is there a workaround of any kind even if it requires a rooted portable device?

• Also, how do you get an address bar to show on mobile Chrome so you don't do a search for an address but type the web address in directly?
What and where do you actually press or hold to be able to type in an address and not do a search?


This question applies to the latest stable mobile version 49 (not old versions and not Desktop and I say that repeatedly because Desktop workarounds do exist but do not work on portable devices.)
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Works on my Android (Galaxy S6). I can't seem to DL any updates so, presumably, its the latest version of Chrome (49.0.2623.91) for me. I even have a "home" button which goes to the homepage after I navigate away from my custom home page which loads when I open Chrome. I just changed it to a different site and it works just fine (default settings).

Not sure what you mean by thumbnails on mobile... I don't see any recent websites I visited in thumbnails.

If the address/URL bar goes away, when I scroll down the page, the bar drops down again. If I type in a URL (www.xxxxxxx.com) it goes directly to that page. No tricks.. it just goes there when I type it.

Ironically, on my desktop (49.0.2623.87 m), I have tabs that are supposed to start up, but do not. I get those 'recently visited sites' thumbnails. But, on desktop I can set a home page too (through the settings, not a workaround) and when I hit the home button, it goes to the page. Just on startup does it hit those thumbnails. It is an option in the settings, I believe under appearance, that will enable you to have the homepage button(the house).


You may want to look at your settings (for the record, outside of my homepage and a change in DL directory, I am all default). Or you may have a newer version of Chrome on mobile than I do.

GL.
 
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OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Chrome is pre-installed on your phones as it was on my Galaxy S5, where I also did not have this problem, presumably because the original version at time of phone manufacture possibly influences what gets updated now... By the way all this CAN be resolved on Desktops through settings and Add-ons but NOT on mobile devices.


My test platform is identical Galaxy S5 phone completely wiped and nuked from everything, on which I just installed the very latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (API level 23), updated to a later version than even the yet to be available Galaxy S7. This was done through yesterday's CyanogenMod 13. So this is definitely about newest-latest versions of everything that's coming.


Google Chrome was installed fresh from Google Playstore today to a phone where there was no older version. This may be why the following is happening. EDIT: fyi version on phone is Chrome 49.0.2623.91


I have posted here after going through numerous threads on this topic on the internet.

Here is proof:
Jump to the end of this thread
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/KobCsRA5DC4

and here is a standard example of people posting answers for Desktop Chrome which can be adjusted through add-ons etc. but not MOBILE Chrome:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/chrome/ZxqKc9NS2P4






First of all there is no way to set the Home page. These are the Settings. None of these contain a way to set the home page, any solution to this cannot be Googled by the way ;).

Chrome1.png

Next here are the Recently visited page thumbnails, I visited a couple just to generate the thumbnails:

Chrome2.png



As you can image these pile & pile as you visit different pages.
This is an INSANE invasion of privacy, you are pretty much *obliged* to have conversation about the pages you visited with whoever else uses your portable device, be it a phone or a tablet, at business or at home... I share the view of one of the posters who said he just doesn't want to look at the clutter, but reasons are irrelevant. I also am not a Google Chrome user - so switching browsers is not a solution, I would like to gain knowledge on how to circumvent this new Google policy of being forced to have conversations about the sites you visit because they are displayed front & center for everyone who uses the same portable device.

Can you imagine the implications of new portable devices using Google Chrome in business settings!?!
 
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EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Perhaps it is your rooting and different OS (5.1.1 here)? As I said, I do not display the problems you have listed with my bone stock phone. In my settings, I have an option to display or not display the home page. If google is my homepage or I go to google, I do not get those thumbnails.

That may change upon future OS'/Chrome's release for me(us)... who knows. But for a bone stock system, it works just fine.

Along those lines, you may want to make it clear (in the first post) what OS and Chrome version you are using. As you can see, thus far, it is only affecting unreleased OSs and Chrome versions (though you haven't listed any details of what Chrome version you are running outside of "49"). Who knows if this will make it to the public like this (likely).

I do not have these issue on my version of Chrome on the desktop. What version(s) is(are) showing problems?

I hope you find a workaround. I will subscribe to thread and reference it if my system ever borks (and post here to let all know of the change). :)

EDIT: I see we have the same versions of Chrome for mobile... so it must be the OS...? I can uninstall Chrome and reinstall it to see if that happens??????

EDIT2: I can only uninstall updates, LOL! Sorry, can't help any more than this.


Seems like it affects those that don't have it natively installed, or have 'future' OS's (didn't read your links so that could be wrong).
 
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OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Yes.
I included the build number in post#1.

Your posts were useful because they prove that interestingly, Google implemented this change (somehow) only on devices which have never had old versions of Chrome installed. I did not have this problem on stock phone, but thought that this was a new version feature, it is a surprise that exact same builds of Google Chrome have major feature differences depending on where they are installed.

Not too many people have new stuff yet so perhaps we will revisit this thread when they do... in a year or so.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
I ditched chrome after I learned I needed to buy a business account to set chrome for Android's policies...
Went with habit browser.

Anyways, IIRC I read that there was a Samsung .apk of Chrome with the home button or something where as the stock Chrome on my LG G3 didn't have the home button which leads me to believe one can build their own ChromeCustomizations.apk that includes the home page settings.

ChromeCustomization.apk is a file that Chrome looks at for settings such as the home button or disabling incognito mode etc.
Take a look here for some info on this.

It can be done it seems, but I have no idea how to build an .apk (or anything for that matter!)
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I run Chrome Beta on my phone and have a home page button (currently on version 50.0.2661.35)

In chrome go to chrome://flags

and try disabling 'Large icons on New Tab page'


edit: nevermind, didn't make a difference.
 
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OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Janus67, because I also did not have this problem on my very same phone before nuking its stock operating system, I believe we have established that this only effects fresh installations on portable devices with operating systems where Chrome was *never* installed before.

It's an interesting concept, I'm not sure what it is they are doing, I need to take this somewhere else, maybe xda.
I need to bring this up somewhere where people are into installing OS on phones.


It's ridiculous that it is so hard to type in a web address (they want you going through Google search), that they are, on a limited number of phones for now, not allowing you to set your own home page and, by far the worse, that they force-display screen shots of last dozen or so web sites you visited for everyone who has access to the same portable device to see!
I'll go start a thread on xda, maybe somewhere else too...
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I thought I would figure out a way to ask Google people themselves. They replied:

"Hi c627627,

I definitely sympathize with your situation. I'm going to look into this issue and get back to you as soon as I have an update. Thanks for your patience while I investigate this issue further."




It would be nice if they actually do get an answer from their programmers. I like the use of the word 'sympathize', I took that to mean that it's not completely crazy to want to be able to set your own home page and and have a modicum of privacy when surfin' the net.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Just an fyi... my phone updated to marshmallow 6.0, still works as it did before (as we expected).
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Yes. Thank you for bumping this thread which reminded me to check up on this:
I was handling the issue with Google themselves and was waiting for a reply, they did reply, once again acknowledging the existence of two different "same version - same build" Google Chromes (!) (!) (!)

Look at the official Google solution and I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about this matter:


"Hi again,

After investigating this issue further, it looks like there isn't an option to actually set a home page or disable thumbnails. However, there is a workaround. Creating a shortcut icon to a specific website would act as a home page. Also, if you're concerned about thumbnails appearing perhaps using incognito mode would help."



Not that I use Google Chrome but... just... wow. :(


EDIT: Since there are two different 'same version - same build' releases of Google Chrome - the logical question would be why.
I asked.

I also pressed on trying to find out how to enter a web address and bypass google.com search engine if you are on Google Chrome's mandatory home page, google.com... It seems that you have to do a google search first...
 
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OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
For the record, there was no reply or explanation as to why Google has two different same version - same build releases.