Chrome 85's new tab management features detailed, includes tab groups and more

Google today announced a few new features being added to the Chrome browser that relate to the management and performance of tabs. Some of the features have been in testing, which are now being made available to the stable channel. Those include the tab groups feature, and a more touch friendly version of the browser that is slowly rolling out to Chrome OS users, and tab previews. There are a few improvements to Chrome on Android as well.

The first in the list of improvements is a 10% improvement in tab performance. The company says that tab loads are now faster, thanks to the enhancements made to Profile Guided Optimization. The company will also be adding tab throttling to improve performance of active tabs.

Tab groups
Tablet mode UI

The tab groups feature is also being made available to Chrome users in the stable channel. As the name suggests, Chrome now lets users group tabs and name them for easier segregation. These groups can be moved around, collapsed, and expanded.

Another feature is the touch-friendly UI for tablet mode, something that the company announced back in April. The new UI provides a larger tiled interface for tab previews, making it easier to navigate between using touch. The feature is first rolling out to Chromebooks, but will also be made available on laptops. However, it is not clear if the UI will automatically adapt when a device is switched to tablet mode.

In addition to these improvements, Google will also be bringing the tab previews feature to Chrome Beta. The feature is currently hidden behind a flag and shows a thumbnail image of the contents in a tab, instead of just the site name. Microsoft’s legacy Edge browser debuted this feature, and is also being added to the Chromium-based Edge browser.

Tab previews
PDF improvements

For Chrome on Android, the Mountain View company is adding the ability to quickly switch to tabs that are already open. The icon prompting to switch tabs appears if users begin typing in the website address or title of an already open tab.

Other improvements include the ability to directly fill out and save PDF files on the desktop, making it easy to edit PDFs right in the browser without having to use other apps. There are enhancements to URL sharing on mobile and desktop, including a new QR code generator for the desktop.

Most features announced today should begin rolling out with Chrome 85 that is due for release today. However, considering that the release is generally staggered, it might be some time till all users begin seeing the update.

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