Google launches Portals, a new web page navigation system for Chrome

Image: Google

Yesterday at I / O Developer Conference 2019, Google released a new technology called Portals which aims to provide a new way of loading and browsing web pages.

According to Google, the portals will operate using a new HTML tag named . This tag works similarly to tags

The difference between a portal and an iframe tag is that Google’s new Portals technology is an upgrade over iframes.

Google claims that portals allow users to navigate the content they embed, which iframes do not for security reasons.

Additionally, portals can override the primary URL address bar as well, which means they are useful as a navigation system, and more than embedding content – the most common way to use iframes today. ‘hui.

Chrome portals vs iframes

Image: Google

Google engineers are hoping their new portal technology will take over the web and become the standard way for websites to transition between links.

For example, engineers hope that when a user browses a news site, when they reach the bottom of a story, the links associated with other stories are embedded as portals, on which the user can click and go seamlessly to a new page.

The advantage over using portals over traditional links is that the content of portals can be preloaded while the user scrolls down a page and be ready to expand into a new page without the user having to worry about it. ‘wait for it to load.

The feature was first announced at the Chrome Dev Summit last year in November, but starting today, portals are supported in the latest version of Chrome Canary for Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS.

To enable it, users will need to enable the Chrome portals flag by visiting chrome: // flags / # enable-portals.

Chrome portals flag

For now, only Chrome Canary supports this technology, but if you want to play with a demo, one is available. here.

In a blog post Describing new portal technology, Google focused on positioning portals as a new technology to support better transitions between web pages, highlighting how it could be used to improve web page navigation on web pages. mobile devices, where touch gestures make the use of portals a seamless experience.

It’s pretty clear that Google engineers took inspiration from app screen transitions and the fast way apps move between different screens and tried to emulate the same thing, but through HTML, JavaScript and Native CSS.

However, Portals has a lot more potential. For starters, it could become the standard technology for content integration, replacing iframes. Portals allow a user to watch / listen to embedded content and then seamlessly jump to their home page, where they can leave comments or open other media.

The success of this technology depends on the website owners, as always. Many may not be willing to recode their sites to use portals, despite the benefit of faster page transitions.

No other browser provider has expressed interest in supporting the Portals standard, for now. More technical details on the portals are available in the WICG project, this explanatory, or the official Google Design Document.

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