We all do it. Despite the fact that having lots of tabs open on Google Chrome can slows our devices down a lot, we all have a lot of tabs open all the time. Take a look right now, we bet you have at least five open if you’re on desktop and upwards of 10 if you’re on your mobile.
Ever since tabs were first introduced to modern web browsers, they’ve completely changed the way we use the internet. They have, however, remained very much in their original state. We open them up, we use them, we don’t, and if we need them later on, we can save them all as bookmarks. Despite their revolutionary initial effect, tabs haven’t really changed much at all. Until now.
Google Chrome on Android is redesigning the tab screen and introducing tab groups
At the moment, whenever you hit the tabs icon in Chrome on Android, you’re presented with all your open tabs as individual cards. You scroll through them until you find the one you want and then when you find it you tap it and return to browsing the web. This is fine, but it quickly becomes tiresome scrolling through the cards, the more tabs you have open.
Google is looking to change this on Chrome for Android by adding a new option when you long press on a link. The “Open in new tab group” option will allow you to bunch together various tabs of your choice into groups. When you start a new group, you’ll see a new navigation bar appear at the bottom of the page, which will show all the tabs you’ve placed in the group as favicons. This should make it much easier to switch between them and allow you to start grouping tabs together based on common subjects.
This means that when you click the tabs icon, you’ll no longer be taken to the card scrolling interface. Instead you’ll get a new display that shows all your open groups as in a similar fashion to how you see folders in other file exploring programs. Each group will show a preview of the first four tabs that are open in it, and as mentioned, favicons for the sites they’re on. Clicking on a particular group will then take you to an interface that looks more similar to the current tab card scrolling system, as you scroll through the tabs open in the group.
Unfortunately, this new and very useful feature has only been spotted on the Android version of Google Chrome Canary, which Google uses to test advance new features. The feature is still a little rough around the edges, which means Google still has some work to do before we all get to use it.
This all looks very promising, however, and seems set to see tabs again completely revolutionize how we use the web. Don’t be surprised if once this feature lands on your phone, you start to notice that you’ve many many more tabs open that you used to have.