Google recently rolled out a new version of Chrome for Android this month, bringing a few small changes including easier sharing and deleting of downloaded items, a language preferences setting, and an optional prompt for simplified view on supported articles.

But the folks at 9to5Google noticed that Chrome 65 for Android also introduces something that Google didn’t highlight when it rolled out the new browser: you cannot save a screenshot when using incognito mode.

Incognito or private browsing basically means that your browser won’t save your history, cookies, info filled into online forms, or other site data. Once you close the window, almost everything you did during that session goes away (except for bookmarks you save or files you download).

Most modern browsers offer a similar feature, which comes in handy when you’re visiting sensitive sites. You won’t end up with cookies on your device linking you to the sites you visit and you shouldn’t see related ads as you continue browsing the web using a normal browser window… although it’s worth noting that incognito/private browsing doesn’t typically prevent websites from seeing information about you such as your ISP.

Anyway, whether you’re using incognito mode to visit adult websites or to search for details about a medical condition, the idea is that it provides a bit more privacy.

I suppose blocking users from taking screenshots means that you won’t accidentally save a picture of sites you’re visiting on a phone or tablet. But it’s an interesting move on Google’s part to take away even the option of saving screenshots: there’s no way to opt-out: you can’t save a screenshot, and that’s that.

According to 9to5Google, screenshot blocking for incognito mode is also included in pre-release versions of Chrome 66 and Chrome 67 for Android.

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3 replies on “Chrome 65 for Android prevents you from saving screenshots”

  1. Can’t say I’m terribly surprised. Google has been moving in the direction of Big Brother for years, and part of that is a mindset of “we know what’s best for you better than you know what’s best for you”.

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