Chrome for iOS has just received an update. Unlike previous updates, this one actually brings a new feature to the browser; spotlight actions. Spotlight actions in iOS are quick actions for apps that can be executed from Spotlight. To execute a Spotlight action, you must type in the correct word in the search bar. Chrome has introduced two Spotlight actions; Voice and Incognito. Voice allows you to open Chrome with Voice search and Incognito allows you to open an incognito tab in Chrome.
Update Chrome to version 55.0.2883.79. Spotlight actions work on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and above. After updating Chrome, swipe down to open search, or swipe right to go to the Spotlight screen.
To open Chrome with Voice search, type ‘Voice’ in the search bar. To open Chrome in incognito, type Incognito in the search bar. The action words are case sensitive; the ‘V’ for voice and ‘I’ for incognito must in uppercase.
You will see ‘Voice Search’ and ‘Incognito’ appear in the search results next to the Chrome icon. Tap it and you will be switched to the Chrome app with either voice search active, or with a new incognito tab open.
It is rare for a Chrome for iOS update to add any real features. The closed nature of the OS prevents Chrome from doing so. In stark contrast, Chrome for Android is feature rich and far more powerful than its iOS counterpart. This new feature makes use of an iOS feature.
The new feature is useful if your iPhone model doesn’t have 3D touch. If, however, your iPhone does have 3D touch, you are highly unlikely to use Spotlight actions. Chrome’s 3D touch options allow you to launch it in Voice search and open an incognito tab. The shortcuts are easier to use and do not require you to type case sensitive words to execute them.