Google Pulls Off a Microsoft – Working on Grouping Chrome Tabs in Sets 


Google appears to be planning some major features for the upcoming version of Chrome. Code changes earlier this week had hinted at a Dark Mode being developed for macOS. Now, another new feature has been spotted that would group tabs together in sets.

Our usage of term "sets" might remind some Windows enthusiasts of an upcoming feature in the operating system that will introduce tabs in File Explorer and group together different applications in one window to improve user productivity. Google's version sounds a tad similar to this concept. A recent code change suggests that users will be able to organize Chrome tabs into different groups, possibly to improve productivity by grouping tabs belonging to one task or a project in one set.

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Here's what this latest code change request in Chrome 73 reads:

Allows users to organize tabs into visually distinct groups, e.g. to separate tabs associated with different tasks.

Implement tab context menu option to add tab(s) to new group. go/chrome-tab-groups-design

The prototype will allow users to create and manipulate groups primarily via tab context menus, and will display tab group affiliation in the tabstrip. Future work will include persisting and syncing groups, manipulating groups via tab dragging, and a dropdown menu for the group headers.

It remains unclear how exactly will this grouping feature work since it can't be just "click on a group of tabs to open them all in a new window" as that can already be done. The above description (via TD) also talks about using context menus for manipulation, so it will be interesting to see how it's going to be designed in a way that improves productivity, removes clutter, and doesn't require too many clicks.

The feature is in early development, but, if approved, it would be available for all versions of Chrome, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and ChromeOS.