Google's browser gets opt-in features via about:labs

Google has been at work trying to come up with new ways for users to manage and use their web browser. Many of these ideas may never get pushed into builds, however with a recent Chromium build, Google has added a page that allows you to enable the advanced features called about:labs. This will ease the lengthy process of enabling features, as before you had to use command line flags.

about:labs feature Tabs on the left

In the Windows version of Chromium, the unofficial Google Operating System blog reports there is currently just one about:labs feature. This one feature, called "Tabs on the left" allows for, you guessed it, tabs to display vertically on left side of the browser. Tabs on the left is geared for wide screen browsing as most web pages are relatively thin compared to the full screen resolution of monitors on today's market. 

about:labs feature Tab Overview or "tabposé"

Perhaps a more interesting lab feature is Tab Overview, which works as an exposé for tabs. As people have come to use browsers more and more, the idea of tabs came up to help organize one's browsing. Now that people are reaching a point where even their tabs are getting crowed/full, there needs to be a way to easily manage them. Mozilla's answer to this was Tab Candy, or officially "Panorama" in which you can group sets of tabs together and add tags to them. Google's answer was to make an exposé for tabs so the user could see everything at once. This project has been going on since July.

Windows has tabs on the left, and OS X has Tab Overview, but as of now Linux does not have an about:labs listing. All of the command line flags will still work though, and the two features I mentioned here can be accessed via the flags "--enable-vertical-tabs"  for tabs on the left and "
--enable-expose-for-tabs for Tab Overview. about:labs is enabled on the latest Chromium build only, but hopefully we will see this feature trickle down to the dev channel as well.

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