As the Chrome Tab Groups feature has evolved, I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I don’t see much use for it in my personal workflow. I’m not prone to leave dozens of tabs open at a time, so grouping the 7 or 8 tabs I currently have open isn’t really that beneficial. At my worst, I’ll have 10-12 tabs open, but I almost never leave it this way for any significant amount of time. I’ll admit to having several windowed web apps up and dispersed across multiple desktops all day, but those really don’t benefit from tab groups at all.
This new feature we’re seeing today – spotted by Chrome Story – could change all of that for me, however, and I’d reckon it might for some of you as well. If you’ve ever been to a website like Chrome Unboxed and felt the need to click on a few of the reference links to get the full story, you know how confusing it can get once you have a few tabs open from the site you are on mixed in with other tabs you currently have open. Keeping the tabs from a single site all in one group would be helpful, right? If you are like me, the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’ Knowing myself, however, I am fully aware that I won’t take the time to manually create those groups each time a situation like this arises.
Enter Automatic Tab Grouping
Google is set to introduce a new tab grouping mechanism that will automatically create new tab groups when links are clicked and opened in a new tab from the same domain origin. It’s a simple, elegant feature when you think about it. For me, it will help greatly when I’m perusing a site like the Chromium Gerrit for new, upcoming Chrome OS features and new Chromebook development boards. Having all the links I click on open and automatically place themselves into an automatically-created group sounds pretty awesome and will go a long way towards keeping me organized for quicker cross-referencing.
While I don’t see myself using tab groups in the more standard way anytime soon, I will 100% adopt this auto tab group feature into my workflow the minute it comes out. As a quick fix for same-site tabs that can get lost in the shuffle, I think this new feature is going to be beneficial for a lot of people. The commit was just recently merged, so it should appear in the next Canary Channel update. Stay tuned and we’ll have more content out about this soon as the feature shows up and we can take it for a spin.