Chrome’s Incognito Mode on Android to be Called ‘Private Mode’ for Some Users

In a rather unexpected move, Google is renaming the famous “Incognito” mode to “Private Mode” on Chrome for Android, at least for users in “select countries”

Which are those “select countries”, I do not know yet.

The Code

Here is the code that talks about this change. We should soon see this flag in chrome Canary.

Update the UI strings to replace “incognito” to “private”

The bug associated with this change is public and has more details:

Implementation: Changing the word “Incognito” to “Private”

Experiment with changing the word “Incognito” to “Private” for users in select countries. The goal is to understand whether changing the string to a more commonly-understood word increases usage of the feature.

This was not expected, but here is my theory. This “select countries” could be Non-English speaking countries where people mostly use Chrome in their native language. Incognito, when translated to their language may not be communicating what it stands for.

“Private Mode” can easily be translated and used. People might start using the private mode more often.

What’s your theory? Let me know in comments.

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