Google has been slowly adding incognito search modes to several of its apps to give people the option to look up information without it being logged to their account.
One of the first apps to receive it was the Google app itself, but it had an unfortunately flawed integration. Essentially, users could tap their account icon in the top right corner of the app and then tap ‘Use without an account.’ Then, users would be able to perform searches and Google wouldn’t log the results to their account.
The problem was that users also couldn’t click any links. Doing so would open a Chrome custom tab, which was by default signed into users’ accounts. As such, any links they tapped would open and the results would be logged to their account, defeating the purpose of performing a search without an account.
Thankfully, a new feature is fixing that oversight. Some users have noticed another option called ‘New Chrome incognito tab.’ Tapping this switches users to Chrome and opens an incognito tab so they can search for something and click the links without having data logged about them.
Before the Google app punts users to Chrome, it does show a small warning that notes websites, employers, schools and internet service providers (ISPs) might still be able to see your activity when browsing incognito. Further, it notes that cookies and other site data get synced between all open incognito tabs and the only way to clear that data is to close all incognito tabs.
While not an ideal solution, the new option does at least place users in an environment where they can perform searches with a modicum of privacy. Of course, you could always open a Chrome incognito tab and search semi-privately so the addition ultimately seems redundant.
The feature is rolling out now, so you may not see it just yet. It appears to be a server-side update, and having the Google app beta doesn’t make a difference whether you have it or not.
Source: Android Police