Google Just Fixed One of the Most Annoying Things About Browsing the Web

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Jan. 15 2014 3:17 PM

Google Just Fixed One of the Most Annoying Things About Browsing the Web

147367658-sundar-pichai-senior-vice-president-of-chrome-speaks-at
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google's annual developer conference on June 28, 2012.

Photo by KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages

It looks like Chrome has finally implemented a very useful beta feature for all users: It now shows a small speaker icon next to whichever tab is playing sound. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is for tab junkies (ahem) who become quickly frustrated when they can't figure out which tab is blaring an American Idol ad.

The icon looks like this:

140115_ft_chrome

This simple feature doesn't go as far as the Chrome extension MuteTab, which lets you select one or multiple tabs to, well, mute. A Firefox extension, Muter, also lets you mute tabs in the browser. However, those extensions don't solve the specific problem of finding a tab that is playing audio. Chrome just fixed that for you.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

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