If a developer’s “app directs consumers to URLs outside [their] domain,” Google advises using Custom Tabs. While offering “support for the same web platform features and capabilities as the browsers,” applications can personalise the toolbar with their own button and menu elements. One of the largest benefits is that users don’t have to log in again because they stay hooked in to the same websites.
In a perfect world, in-app browsers would be replaced by custom tabs in all Android apps (WebViews). Google has improved the visibility of Chrome Custom Tabs when you are “running” them (CCT). “Powered by Chrome” would be shown at the bottom of the three-dot overflow menu on Chrome 104 or earlier. The Google browser is rolling out new “Running in Chrome” lettering and a logo for Custom Tabs as of version 105. (The full-color icon in the last element would be less obtrusive if it were monochrome.) In comparison to the preceding description, it is more visible and accessible and appears in all apps that support Chrome Custom Tabs.
Major third-party apps from Twitter to Slack use Custom Tabs on Android, while Instagram is a particularly egregious holdout. For a time, the Google app for Search results and the Discover feed was experimenting with its own built-in browser, but that looks to have been abandoned. It will hopefully not return. Chrome 105 is not yet widely rolled out at the start of this week.