Summary:

Got touch? Google’s latest Chrome Canary build adds touch navigation features to your touchscreen PC, just like on the Chromebook Pixel. With the new features, Google continues to unify the web experience across devices, regardless of the platform they run.

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Browsing on a PC using Chrome will soon be much like surfing the web on a tablet; if your PC has a touchscreen, that is. Google has improved touch navigation and interaction on its Chrome Canary browser, a cutting-edge version of the company’s Chrome software.

A tip sent to The Verge on Monday pointed out a new slide-to-navigate feature allowing users to move forward or back through web pages by swiping the touchscreen of their PC in Chrome Canary. Note that the current version of Internet Explorer on Windows 8 supports similar navigation as Microsoft has completely overhauled its operating system for touch optimizations. And Google’s own Chromebook Pixel, which runs Chrome OS, also offers touch navigation.

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Those running the new Chrome Canary build can also enable an experimental pinch-to-zoom feature for their touchscreen PC. To turn this on, users can type chrome://flags in the browser’s address bar and select the “enable pinch scale” flag option.

The move to add more touch features to Chrome — at least in a very early build — is a nod to the rise of touchscreen-capable PCs. And it suits Google’s strategy with Chrome as well, which is to offer a unified web experience across all devices, regardless of the operating system they run on.

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