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Google Chrome is here to aid your Christmas shopping

Google Chrome update
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping dangerously late, Google wants to make your panic buying a bit easier with a host of e-commerce-friendly upgrades coming to Chrome in the near future.

Per a blog post, Google has announced that Chrome will be getting some handy shopping features. The first and most interesting of these is a price tracking tool for the mobile browser. If you’re keeping an eye on a product with an eye for a price cut, Google wants to save you incessantly refreshing the page by keeping tabs on the price for you. Products inside your open tabs grid will now display live prices, meaning you can jump on them when they’re at their lowest. It looks a bit like this:

Chrome price comparison for Android

(Image credit: Google)

That feature is rolling out on Chrome for Android this week in the U.S. and will follow for iOS "in the coming weeks."

Then there’s another mobile-friendly feature for people doing their shopping in person. With Google Lens, shoppers can snap a photo of the item they’re interested in and perform a search for it right there and then, presumably in order to do a quick price comparison before pulling the trigger. To do so, just tap the Lens icon in the address bar and take a photo.

Less useful, given the lack of built-in camera and portability, the feature will soon be coming to the desktop version as well. If you find a picture with a product you’re interested in, you can right click it and select "Search images with Google Lens," drawing round the specific bit you’re interested in with the mouse.

Finally, there’s something for people who tend to add things to their virtual shopping carts as a form of bookmarking. If you do this, but are also prone to forgetting where, then a new update for Chrome for Windows and Mac is here to help you keep track of things. Simply open up a new tab, and you’ll be able to scroll to a new card labelled "Your carts" which should list everywhere you have unfinished shopping business to attend to. 

"Some retailers, like Zazzle, iHerb, Electronic Express and Homesquare, might even offer a discount when you come back to check out," Google teases. Once again, this update is starting with US shoppers, but Google says that is only the starting point.

The other two points in the post highlight existing features — auto generating and remembering hard-to-crack passwords, and memorizing checkout details. All of these features prove why Chrome continues to sit atop our best Android browsers list.

Still, it’s a useful set of features for shoppers who prefer to do their browsing online. And while it may be a bit late for Christmas 2021 for most of us, you’d imagine that these features are here for the long haul. And if you want to trick out your browser even more, check out our best Chrome extensions list.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.