Google's grand plan to rethink the URL has suffered a temporary setback after it was forced to reinstate the axed "www" in Chrome's address bar following user outrage. It now wants the public to weigh in on the change but claims it will correct course again with the release of Chrome 70.
Those against the update argue that scrapping special-case subdomains makes it harder to spot legitimate sites and puts people at risk of falling for online phishing scams. But the big G thinks a cleaner address bar (free of lengthy URLs made up of letters and numbers) will make it easier to identify trustworthy domains. Others still have pointed out Google's vested interest in broadening the reach of its own AMP subdomain.
"In Chrome M69, we rolled out a change to hide special-case subdomains "www" and "m" in the Chrome omnibox," said Google Chromium product manager Emily Schecter in a blog post. "After receiving community feedback about these changes, we have decided to roll back these changes in M69 on Chrome for Desktop and Android."
Google says it won't try to standardize how browsers treat "www" and "m", instead opting for a public discussion with standards bodies on the topic. With the launch of Chrome 70, Google will revert to hiding "www" once more but will retain the "m".