With Android 13 T supporting a new API, Chrome can now allow users to take screenshots in incognito Mode without showing incognito screenshot thumbnails in the app switcher.
Till now, Chrome did not permit users to take screen grabs in private mode on Android. When you try to do so, you get a message saying “This app doesn’t allow taking screenshots”
In simpler terms, when switching between apps on the home screen, Android would show incognito screenshot captures in the list of recent apps, thereby compromising the purpose of private browsing mode, which is to delete browsing history from the device once the user closes incognito tabs.
This issue has hindered Google from adding the feature to Chrome, but Firefox on Android already offers a setting that enables users to take screen grabs while in private browsing mode.
To address this problem, for developers and advanced users, Google has temporarily introduced a flag known as the “incognito screenshot,” which removes the restriction without considering privacy concerns.
Google enables Incognito Screenshots for Chrome on Android
Google has now implemented support for incognito mode screenshots in Chrome on Android.
While Google has mentioned an “external dependency” as the reason for delaying the addition of this feature, the company has recently landed a new change list (CL) in Chrome that utilizes the new API introduced in Android T, called “setRecentsScreenshotsEnabled,” to disable screenshots in the recents screen while enabling them in other contexts while in incognito mode.
There is no ETA when this feature will be introduced or enabled by default in Chrome on Android.
But as of now, Incognito Screenshots feature it is available out of the box in Chrome Canary.
Looks as if, behind the scenes, it enables the “Improved incognito screenshots” flag.
“Enable Incognito Screenshots on Android except while the user is on recents screen. Only affects the devices on API version >=33.”
Keep in mind, the incognito Screenshot added a while back is no longer necessary and Chrome ignores the flag if you enable the improved Incognito screenshots flag.
Final words: Chrome on Android allows taking screenshots in incognito mode while taking necessary privacy measures to ensure incognito screenshots don’t appear on recents screen on Android. The feature has been enabled by default in Chrome 116 Canary on Android.
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