The ability to save tab groups and recall them later is a feature Google has been working on for some time now, and as of right this moment, these recently closed groups appear in the Tab Search icon until they’re buried. Instead of storing them in the browser’s History section long term, it seems that the company is looking to combine them with your bookmarks in Chrome either in place of or in addition to this method.
A few weeks ago, I discovered on Chrome OS Canary that one of my bookmarks folders appeared on my bookmark bar with new styling. Instead of being plaintext with a folder icon, it appeared to be a button of some sort. Upon clicking it, my Chromebook crashed, so it was clearly in its early stages of development. However, it was still exciting to see that my bookmark folder was being treated as a tab group.
Last night, I found that Chrome’s new upcoming default browser – LaCrOS – was toggled on by default in Canary, so I opened it up, and the first thing I was met with was a full list of all of my bookmark folders right there on the top bar! It looks like the development team is continuing its implementation of this approach, and that’s exciting!
Unfortunately, clicking any of these red tab group folders still crashes the browser, but because LaCrOS is separate from Chrome OS, it didn’t take my entire device to task for a reboot. Instead, it simply crashed out of the browser and relaunched it, exactly how it does on Windows, macOS, and Linux. You’ll also notice that the button styling is without padding on the top, bottom, left, or right, and all of them are just the one color – red.
In the future, Any color you choose for your tab group will obviously occupy this space instead, and since there’s already a way to right-click any specific bookmark folder in the Bookmarks menu and add it to the bar, this will be exactly how you add tab groups there when the time comes for the feature to launch officially.
I know a lot of people will have reservations about the Tab Groups and Bookmarks features being combined, but I truly feel this makes the most sense. Bookmarks are sacred and utilitarian for a reason, but adding an additional optional yet beneficial tool to make them more powerful is a win-win if you ask me. Use it if you want, or continue to use your bookmarks regularly if you don’t – no harm, no foul.
Anyways, all of this looks to be a part of a larger initiative called ‘Power Bookmarks’ which seeks to upgrade the visual design and functionality of the bookmarks menu and bar. As you can see below, indications of folder coloring, icon scaling, and more make an appearance. More importantly, Chrome may soon treat your ‘Reading List’ as a bookmark folder, at least under the hood. The Reading List itself will likely continue to function the same way it does now – as a separate experience with special features.
[Power Bookmarks] Implement the visual refresh and use it in Bookmarks
– Add new layout for the visual refresh and swap it out for the old one. This change covers the basic styles in the mocks, but doesn’t cover the changes to specific folder coloring which will be addressed later once those aspects are cleared up.Chromium Gerrit
– Scale icons larger for the bookmark items using the visual refresh.
– Swap ic_folder_blue_24dp for the XML version for simplicity.
– Rename ic_reading_list_folder to ic_reading_list_folder_24dp to reflect the size and be consistent with other icon names.
Additionally, Power Bookmarks (obviously, this is just a temporary internal code name) seeks to implement a shopping-specific bookmark row. Not only will it store your recently saved Google Shopping items, but it may also show you price-tracking and more. Based on what we know of the Reading List appearing as a bookmark folder – for all intents and purposes – while remaining functionally separate, I believe that the upcoming ‘Reading List’ style Shopping bookmarks will also be their own completely separate tool which will be accessible from Chrome’s top bar.
[Power Bookmarks] Implement a shopping-specific bookmark row
– Add custom content slot for SelectableItemView.Chromium Gerrit
– Add an optional image button to SelectableItemView.
– Add new item row for shopping-specific bookmarks.
– Add drawables required for price-tracking.
– Add render tests to verify the look.
With all of these great features in tow, Google seems to be attempting – yet again – to give traditional bookmarking a facelift as it did back with its Bookmark extension – only this time, it wants it to be more automated. If this sounds familiar to you, that’s because Google Collections work much in the same way, especially with their recent visual refresh. I see all of this coalescing into a universal and impressive system of user-curated, and Google automated data that works across all of the company’s services. Let me know in the comments if you’re for or against such a setup, and we’ll let you know if anything further develops with Power Bookmarks.