Google has been developing a screenshot editing tool for desktop browsers for over a year, intending to launch it as a tool for all users. The tool was first introduced in Chrome Canary version 98 and continued to gain new functionality over time. However, recent developments in Chromium, the open-source code base for Chrome, have indicated otherwise.
Engineers working on Chromium Gerrit, where changes are submitted to the Chrome code base, made a series of commits that removed all traces of the screenshot editing tool from the browser. The reason for this decision was based on user feedback about the tool’s user experience (UX), which showed that it needed to be polished for a full launch. The development team needed to rework the tool to see a path to improve significantly.
The screenshot editing tool allowed users to quickly highlight a portion of a page without using the full screenshot utility on Windows or Mac. However, the UX needed more streamlined to justify continued development, leading to its removal.
What Happened to the Screenshot Editing Tool?
Google’s development team discontinued the screenshot editing tool due to UX challenges. The changes made in Chromium removed the feature, its installation logic, and the wiring in the screenshot bubble. Typically, it takes about ten weeks for changes in Chromium to make their way to the Chrome stable build, but this feature will not appear.
Users using the screenshot editing tool can still access it in its current form by enabling the screenshot feature at chrome://flags/#sharing-desktop-screenshots, then activating the editor at chrome://flags/#sharing-desktop-screenshots-edit and restarting the desktop browser. From there, users can click the share icon in the Omnibox, highlight an area to screenshot, and then click “Edit” on the popup to access the feature.
Alternative to Google’s Screenshot Editing Tool
It’s important to note that the changes made in Chromium only apply to the screenshot editor, and the screenshot feature should remain for some time. This is still useful for users who want to highlight a portion of a page quickly, but they will still need to enable the #sharing-desktop-screenshots flag. For those looking for an alternative to the discontinued screenshot editing tool, Google Photos has some sophisticated editing features that may be worth trying.
while it’s disappointing to see Screenshot Editing Tool Discontinued by Google, it was due to UX challenges that the development team could not overcome. However, the screenshot feature should remain available for some time, and for users looking for an alternative, Google Photos has some great editing features worth checking out. The discontinuation of the screenshot editing tool shows that Google is committed to delivering a high-quality user experience, even if it means discontinuing a feature that wasn’t up to par.