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You know how much the chromium team loves to experiment with the browsing experience and this "origin chip" in the last Chrome OS Dev Update is no exception.

As you can see below, the experimental site chip moves the URL out of the Omnibox and shows the hostname in the origin chip in the toolbar. I've played with it by enabling the chrome://flags/#origin-chip flag and actually started to get used to it.

For information, clicking on the chip will display the full URL in the Omnibox as you would expect.

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A bit confusing at first glance. It looks like the URL is over at the right of the window.
+Paul Neave It is at the right, you can enable the experiment right now using the latest dev channel (on windows)

I think this doesn't look good, for me it almost looks like those old "One URL input box | One search input box" thing, from old Firefox versions (yeah, even though it's still one box, but it feels like it because search and URLs are divided)
Doesn't the URL show in the omnibar? Does it show the URL Path only?
+Jacob G I think the thing on the right is the site's SSL certificate info.
I'm on a Mac so can't test it. Does it break the domain and path up? That's just weird.
Something special,but what's the benefit of this change for users?
All these cool updates you show daily makes me want to purchase a Chromebook!
+Jonathan Kelly  most of these are available on the canary builds for Windows :) (like the one mentioned above, for example)
I'll try it on my laptop when I get home. My work machine is a Mac with Canary on it.
+icewings Fang There are a few possible benefits:
* Makes the omnibox more inviting to type in.  If users don't understand URLs and worry that if they type in this "box full of random junk", they'll break something, a blank box is more inviting to use.
* Provides a potential place to show search terms.  If you do a search, Chrome could theoretically keep displaying your terms in this box, so they would be easy to edit.  This in turn might allow for removing the on-page searchbox (as mobile already does sometimes), encouraging searching from the omnibox and reducing the number of boxes to type in from two to one.
* Highlights the hostname even more.  The omnibox already does this with black-versus-grey coloring, but this makes it even easier to see and parse "what site am I on", both for security purposes and simply "where am I".
I think this would be a good first step to a new internet design around search (surprise from google?). No one cares about URLs, really. So why display them at all? Especially if search can get you where you want to go. Something like this plus an "I'm feeling lucky" direct connection to some sites would be a great new design for the browser, getting away from the clunky URL address of present.
+Peter Kasting  agreed, however the empty box where it used to have the URL just feels weird :P Also, it makes it less intuitive to copy + paste the URL of the page you're on, if you want to share it with a friend or so..
There is no benefit to this and really starts to get back to a "2 bar/box" model that is pointless. And there are also the usability and security concerns.
Is that Chrome OS in the screenshot? The framework looks neat.
That wasn't an extension, that was a flag-gated experiment, much like this one.  (The experiment was ultimately deemed unsuccessful and removed.)
I'm not really a fan of losing the URL altogether. (I know that you can get it back with Ctrl+L, but I like to glance at it.) But I would be okay with having the domain name removed from the URL and placed to the side.

For example, if I was at "", it would show the padlock (for https) with "" on the bar to the right, and in the address bar, "search?q=hello+world". So I can still see the URL but it makes it quite clear which part is the domain and which part is not (which is important from a security standpoint).
+Peter Kasting Thanks for your detailed answer.I got the point.Whatever,more experiment,more benefit.Right?   : )
I get the point of this, but it looks backwards. If you want to take the origin out of the address bar (remember that it is an address bar first and an address bar second; the internet is not Google), at least put the origin on the left side where it logically belongs. Anyway, aside from that, showing just search terms (Google's bias towards search is clearly showing here) makes the address bar entirely pointless for websites that don't have search at all or websites that you rarely/never search (like most interesting web apps). Take Google Analytics ( You'd show the shortened origin ( and then what... no search terms... so you get a blank bar that does nothing and doesn't show where specifically you are on Google? This doesn't make sense.

In response to +Peter Kasting's comment: If Chrome users don't understand that they can search from the address bar, that's probably more of a reason to educate users than to create an entirely new interface and experience that throws everything out the window. For the same audience you're trying to help with this, this exact change would just be different and confusing.

This is a lot like EV certificates. I expect that if this ever does last in Chrome, it will look just like an EV cert (and hopefully in the same logical location) that, instead of showing the company name is green, it shows the origin and is grey. With it like that, it would be clearly distinct and not editable (unless you backspaced that far or clicked directly on it, like email addresses in Gmail's compose window). Websites could then be able to opt-in to making a parameter the search bar's input using, for example, a meta tag. I think this would accomplish the same goal without any crazy drastic changes to UI or, more importantly, UX.
+Michael Hart I don't think this is intended for searching within the site you're on. It's just a web search box. (Or at least, it was when I tried it out today; it's an experiment and can obviously change.)
+Matt Giuca That would make such a change even more damaging; my assumption was that this would apply to (the origin chip itself) and aim to benefit all websites (keep search terms in the address bar if you searched any website).

If not, this harms the experience of all websites while only pushing users to use Google Search (or, for the small percentage of users who have changed it, their default search engine), and I would hope this experiment makes it nowhere. Chrome's developers have to remember that it's an address bar first. If they change that from being the case, it's not a web browser anymore, it's a Google Search app.

One easy starting place to help educate users they can search from the address bar is to have a placeholder when users erase it ( Rather than show an empty box, have a placeholder along the lines of "Search {their search engine name} or enter a URL". I'm surprised there's not a placeholder. Firefox has one: "Search or enter address" (
+Michael Hart This experiment does feature a placeholder ("Search or type URL") when no text is present.

I'd ask critics of this idea to try to be very specific about what's harmful or not useful about it. It's difficult to get past the fact that it feels weird. After all, the URL has been displayed at the top of the browser for 20 years now. :) But "weird" is not necessarily "bad".

The web as a whole has not been entirely successful at producing readable URLs. So why not pull out the information that's most critical (the host name and security state) and put it in a more accessible form? While leaving the rest just a click away?

That's the question this experiment asks. I don't think the answer is obvious.
Just have a update on Chromium, noticed that Chromium team moved the button to the left of the ominibar
Hi, +Visual Zhang there three options now for the position of the origin chip that we'll be experimenting with.  You can choose between them at chrome://flags/#origin-chip.
I just hope they don't make this a feature you cannot turn off.. Ok, you are making the box blank for idiots.. I get it.. I'm not an idiot, I don't need a blank box.
+Justin Donnelly This would ruin Reddit for me.  If I can't glance at the Omnibar and see what subreddit I'm in, I'll never know if it's safe to comment or not.  I turned it off pre-emptively.
AOL had it right all along, who knew?!
+Justin Donnelly You're sacrificing real functionality for a cleaner-looking browser.  I appreciate your goal, but don't do away with the ability of subsites to identify themselves in the address bar. is someone's mockup of a way to allow the origin chip and actually enhance subsites.
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