Before features hit the stable build of Google Chrome they’re tested out in the beta channel. Chrome Canary builds are often updated with new features to check if the code is stable enough for a public release and also to gauge the reaction of a small subset that users Chrome Canary. In the most recent update Google appears to have declared war on URLs. The Omnibox a.k.a “address bar” up top doesn’t display URLs in the latest Chrome Canary build, opting instead for an “origin chip.”
What this basically means is that if you were to visit Ubergizmo the Omnibox wouldn’t display the www.ubergizmo.com URL, it’ll only display ubergizmo.com, which is the aforementioned origin chip, regardless of where you navigate from the site’s homepage. To view the full URL users would have to click on the origin chip.
That’s not the only change. Since URLs are no longer displayed in the address bar the default text that will be displayed at all times is “Search Google or type URL.” Looks like the idea behind this change is to drive more traffic to Google’s search engine. Chrome users should know that even now you can search Google by simply typing your query in the address bar and clicking enter.
The default text, which invites users to search through the address bar, would be a key tool to educate Chrome users who still don’t know that its possible to search the web through the address bar. It merits mentioning here that even Chrome Canary doesn’t replace URLs with origin chips by default, so its possible that Google might give users the ability to decide what they want to use.
It should be kept in mind though that not all features that appear in Chrome Canary make it to the stable release. If the initial reaction is not so great and Google gets an idea that this might not take off with the public then it will certainly not tweak how URLs are displayed in the Chrome web browser.