Chrome’s Android app is being updated with a new interface for switching tabs, and a new tab grouping feature to help organize open web pages, 9to5Google reports. The new interface and functionality has reportedly been appearing for some users after the release of version 88 of Chrome last month, but doesn’t appear to be live for everyone just yet.
The grid layout replaces the previous interface consisting of a vertical list of tabs, and is similar to Chrome’s existing iOS tab interface. Around six tabs are shown onscreen at a time, and these can be swiped to the left or right to close them. Incognito tabs can be accessed via a small icon on the top of the screen.
When browsing a tab that’s part of a group, shortcuts to switch to other grouped tabs appear at the bottom of the app. Screenshot: Chrome
Tab groups, meanwhile, are similar to a feature that’s been available on Chrome’s desktop version since last year, and offer a more convenient way to organize your tabs. Grouping tabs also gives you a new shortcut to hop between tabs in the same group via a menu that appears at the bottom of the app. On Android you can organize tabs into groups from the grid layout screen by dragging them onto one another, and there are also options to form tab groups in the overflow menu, as well as the context menu that opens when you long-press to open a new tab.
Although 9to5Google notes that the features started rolling out last week, they don’t appear to be available for every Chrome user just yet. However, you can manually enable them via Chrome’s experimental flags. We found we were able to get them to appear by navigating to chrome://flags in the address bar, and then searching and enabling the “Tab Grid Layout,” “Tab Groups,” “Tab Groups Continuation,” and “Tab Groups UI Improvements” options. We found we had to restart Chrome twice to get the new interface to appear.