Who is imagining and designing these small, yet delightful details?
In Google Chrome for Android browser, the open tab count will show till 99. The moment we open the 100th tab, the counter shows 😀 emoticon.
If you are in incognito mode, the emoticon above 99 tabs becomes a ‘wink’ 😉
When the number rolls over from two digits to three digits (99 to 100), the layout and the small square badge has to be readjusted. This trick 😀 helps the Chrome design/dev team to avoid the extra effort on design and development!
Also, Chrome browser behaves the same way in iPhoneOS as well. Desktop Chrome browser doesn’t show the number of open tabs. This happens only in mobile devices.
My best guess is that the motivation for this emoticon appearence is just humor. Similar to any Easter Eggs, the design/dev team might have been lexpecting a viral post in social media.
I first saw this 😀 years ago on a Nexus 9 tab used by my father. He was learning internet then and didn’t know how to close tabs after finishing the browsing. Over a period of time, the tabs went beyond the 99 mark and I happened to see this one day.