Google has made numerous changes to Chromium over the years, including hiding the URL protocol in the address bar. New code commits discovered by us show that the company is experimenting with another address bar change for Chrome on Windows 10 and other platforms.
Google has a new experiment going on with Chromium Omnibox – or the address bar, as it’s more commonly known. The experiment will optimize omnibox navigations and first-load performance for HTTPS, rather than HTTP.
The new feature relates to the HTTPS protocol, which aims to establish a secure connection between your browser and the website you’re visiting.
Currently, if you want to visit Microsoft.com or any other website, Chrome or Microsoft Edge will first open the HTTP version of the website before redirecting you to the HTTPS version (if available).
The upcoming change will default typed omnibox navigations to HTTPS.
According to Google, this change will optimize omnibox (address bar) navigations and first-load performance for HTTPS. Autocomplete will also use HTTPS as the default scheme for navigations.
“We call these “upgraded HTTPS navigations,” Google said in a code commit.
Google is advocating for HTTPS in the address bar because the “web is increasingly moving towards HTTPS” and it believes that websites will load faster after the change is implemented.
“This is a minimal implementation and is not ready for general usage. Future CLs are going to observe upgraded HTTPS navigations for several seconds instead and cancel the load when necessary, instead of indefinitely waiting for HTTPS loads to succeed,” explained a Google Chrome engineer.
Google is still experimenting with the idea and the feature is not yet ready for general usage.
It’s also possible that the implementation will break some websites that are still on the HTTP version because Chrome is currently unable to remember which URLs fell back to HTTP.