As I’ve previously said, Chrome users will no longer need to rely on extensions like Toby Tab Manager to collapse and save tab groups for later. After having introduced the feature and included several ways to automatically collapse and recall previously created Tab Groups, Google is now adding a way for users to manually do it themselves. More importantly, the feature may become one and the same with bookmarks, and I think that makes a whole lot of sense. Ultimately both features are virtually identical, aside from the grouping and temporary collapsing mechanisms of Tab Groups. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Tab Groups Save
Enables users to explicitely save and recall tab groups. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS.#tab-groups-save
The Chromium development team has added a new flag to Chrome Canary, as first discovered by Leopeva64-2 on Reddit. Apparently, it’s already available to toggle on, but it does not yet do anything. That being said, it’s only a matter of time until it does. My guess is that upon right-clicking a Tab Group, the user will be presented with an option to ‘Save Tab Group’. If this is the case, said Tab Group’s name, color, and grouped tabs should be available via the History and Tab Search menus as we mentioned a few weeks ago.
The only issue with saving Tab Groups to the Tab Search section is that they will already appear there after being closed according to a recent discovery. Furthermore, should the user browse enough other websites after the fact, it will be wiped from the Tab Search. Though it will appear in the History of the browser as a result, this hardly seems like a permanent solution for ‘saving’ Tab Groups for later, especially now allowing the user to do so manually.
With this logic, it looks as though they’ll more than likely just be added to your bookmarks bar. Whether you love Tab Groups or hate them, they are here to stay and continue to get better each week. Leopeva64-2 also discovered several bug reports for the Tab Group Save feature flag that point to potential features that will make an appearance here before its official implementation into Chrome Stable. First, Google wants to ensure that the Tab Groups sync across devices reliably and with little latency. Second, it may be possible to pin Tab Groups that are saved to your bookmarks bar.
Next, and this one is pretty neat, they want to add a right-click option to your Bookmark folders that will allow you to open all bookmarks contained therein as a Tab Group! To me, this one gives me the notion that bookmark folders and Tab Groups will be virtually indistinguishable, and I think that may be for the best. The ideal situation is that Tab Groups become invisible to those who don’t want them, while still being accessible for those that do, and integrate seamlessly with all of the ‘tab groups’ we already have – our folders full of bookmarks!
Lastly, there is some stylization being added to the Tab Group Editor Bubble UI, and even an animation that will play when you save something for later. I bet this will look the same as the animation for Tote on Chrome OS, but I’m just guessing. Let me know in the comments if all of this makes Tab Groups less annoying and more useful or if you’d still like an option to toggle them off. They’re still my favorite feature of the browser, but I know that not everyone likes them.