For the tab hoarder in your circle, Google is working hard to bring a number of new features to Chrome that will help wrangle all of your open browser sessions. From Hover Tab Image Preview to the recently added “Tab Strips,” Chrome has improved exponentially at helping some of us manage our sometimes overwhelming open tab obsession.
One of the more practical features to arrive in Chrome is the currently hidden “Tab Groups” feature. It’s technically still behind a flag but it is in the Stable channel of Chrome OS if you’d like to give it a try without moving to a less-stable build of the OS or browser. As the name implies, the feature allows you to group any number of tabs together in groups that will then be highlighted in the same color as other tabs in the group. In its current state, the UI is a little unpolished but the core function of the feature is there should you want to test it. Simply head to chrome://flags in your URL bar and search “groups” or copy and paste this flag into your browser.
After you restart your browser, you should be able to right-click on any tab and select “add to new group.” In Stable, this will create “group 1” with subsequent groups being labeled 2, 3, 4 and so on and so forth. You get the idea. As I mentioned, the UI is a little raw but here’s a look at what you will see when you activate the Tab Groups feature.
Now, if you want to take a drive over to the not-so-scary land of Chrome OS Beta, you can see a much more refined version of the Tab Groups feature. In Stable, group names are assigned numerically and cannot be customized. In the future, each group can be labeled however you like and you can assign your own color from a limited palette. Here’s a closer look:
In addition to the custom labels and color choice, each group gets a nice little border in its own color that animates to the top of the tab group that’s in focus and back to the bottom when out of focus. Snazzy, don’t you think? Anyway, we can probably expect to see this feature emerge in full in Chrome’s next major update near the end of the month. More than just a good looking update, this will likely be a big help for those who are constantly finding themselves with numerous tabs open. Being able to keep different sites wrangled together based on the relevant content will certainly be a nice addition to my workflow.