Google Chrome’s Incognito mode is about to get another layer of security on Android. iOS devices already had a Privacy Screen feature on several Google apps that required Touch or Face ID for authentication, but now Android devices are finally getting it too.
Chrome for Android will let you protect Incognito tabs with fingerprint authentication soon. If you have private tabs open and close Chrome, the app will automatically lock them behind biometric verification.
Once you open Chrome again, it will show you a grey screen with the Incognito logo in the center. The page will have a text saying “Unlock Incognito” and tapping on this will take you to a fingerprint unlocking screen. It will also give you a PIN option on the bottom left. The overflow feature will remain in the same spot and other options will let you go back to your regular tabs.
This could come in handy when you need to hand your phone to someone else and want to keep your private tabs running in the background. You can turn it off manually by going into Settings > Privacy and Security > Lock Incognito tabs when you leave Chrome.
The feature has not rolled out widely yet, so it will be unavailable to some users for a while. But if you want to try out the feature for yourself, enter the following into your browser’s URL bar:
Fingerprint verification is already available on other Google apps such as Drive, Search, Fi, Chrome, and Authenticator on iOS devices. It is titled “Privacy Screen” though it still needs a wider implementation on Android as well.
Now that the roll out has started, it should not be long before it is available for everyone to use.