We’ve long since believed that Google’s approach to allowing users to store tab groups for later would be to eventually add them to the new Reading List feature. However, a new Chrome Canary flag discovered by Leopeva64 on Reddit shows that the company is looking to dump your recent tab groups into Chrome’s history instead. Oddly enough, this makes a whole lot more sense, and I hadn’t even considered that this approach would be logical.
Show app menu history sub menus
Show app menu history sub menus for the contents of recently closed tab groups and windows. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS.#tab-restore-sub-menus
As you can see, in addition to recently closed tabs, tab groups now get their own section in the History menu of the browser, and within those, tabs from those groups appear in sub menus. From there, they can be restored individually, or all at once. The only thing we have yet to see since I did not receive this update for myself up until this point is whether or not clicking ‘Restore all tabs’ will restore the tab group container along with them. If this is the case, then Google has finally started testing cross-device tab group syncing, and I couldn’t be happier!
Additionally, a Chromium Repository commit also discovered by Leopeva64 shows that Google is looking to allow users to collapse tab groups to the bookmarks menu in a more organized and meaningful way. When the user right-clicks a tab while at least one tab group exists and selects ‘Bookmark All Tabs’, they will be closed and stored as bookmarks with nested folder names instead of simply an unorganized list of items. You can see more information on this via the commit below.
Add folders for tab groups on Bookmark All Tabs
When the user has one or more tab groups open and selects “Bookmark All Tabs”, instead of getting a folder with a flat list of tabs, they will now see nested folders for any tab groups, with naming aligned with the tab group title. The order of urls and nested folders will match the tab strip order. If multiple tab groups share the same title, their tabs will get combined into a single folder at the index of the first group.Bug: 1181583
All in all, it looks like the Chrome content hoarder experience will be complete if these two features roll out to the mainstream. To be honesty, the ability to use my tab groups across devices is my longest-held request. Ever since groups became a thing, I’ve been looking forward to getting rid of tab manager extensions and doing it all natively. While developer flags provide no guarantee that features will roll out to Chrome and Chrome OS Stable, I do feel as though both of these approaches to content storage are well thought out and worth pursuing through to completion.