At Chrome Dev Summit 2017 today in San Francisco, Google announced two new tools related to its browser: the Chrome User Experience Report and Trusted Web Activity. The former is meant to help developers improve their site’s user experience and the latter is a new way to combine Android apps and the web in one experience.
Unlike existing tools that let developers understand how real-world users experience their own sites, Chrome User Experience Report offers comparisons with other sites and macro user experience trends across the web. Google is hoping the report will encourage performance and user experience improvements across the web by helping developers understand where they are doing well, identify areas for improvement, and observe user experience advancements over time.
The report is a public dataset of key user experience metrics, aggregated from Chrome users who have opted-in to syncing their browsing history, and have usage statistic reporting enabled. By querying the dataset, developers can see how real Chrome users experience the web from the diverse set of hardware, software, and networks used in the wild.
The initial release includes data from a sample of ten thousand origins and focuses on loading metrics, though Google hopes to expand coverage in future iterations. This is just the first version, and the company is asking for feedback on the dataset’s format, metrics, dimensions, or any other ways to improve the report.
As for Trusted Web Activity, Google is positioning this feature as an alternative to Chrome’s custom tabs on Android. By launching a Trusted Web activity, an Android app can include trusted app-like content served from the web and powered by the user’s browser, without sending them away from the app.
Trusted Web Activity will be available in Chrome’s canary and developer channels soon, with APIs provided by an Android support library. The best part, however, is that Google is promising other browsers will be able to provide this functionality as well, so it won’t be a Chrome-exclusive. Google didn’t share which browsers would be jumping on board, or when.