Google appears to be testing global media controls on the Chrome browser, which would allow you to control videos or music right from your browser toolbar.
The feature, originally spotted by ZDNet and Techdows, is called “Global Media Controls” and is currently being tested within the Chrome Canary dev build. Once you enable the potential new feature, a small play button will appear next to the URL address bar, allowing you to control any tab playing audio or video.
For anyone out there looking to give the new play/pause button on Chrome Canary a spin, you can do so by enabling the Chrome Flag for the new Global Media Controls.
Head to chrome://flags/, and then search for “Global Media Controls.” Enable the feature and restart Chrome. When Chrome has relaunched, you will see a small “play” button next to the address bar. This allows you to pause/play and skip forward or backwards.
It definitely bears a striking resemblance to the media controls on Android. My own testing has verified that the feature works in YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, PocketCasts, Vimeo, Spotify, and a few more — although it did crash quite a few times. It’s apparent that this feature is not quite ready for prime time just yet.
Given that we saw Google add tab audio indicators not so long ago, this feels like a natural progression. It would prove really useful, too. It’s not immediately clear when this feature could come to a stable Chrome browser release, but we’re sure that it would be an immensely popular addition — without needing to download any Chrome extensions.