Earlier this year, Google Chrome officially launched tab groups on Android, confirming the change from the classic tab switcher to the new grid-based design. Google’s next step for their mobile browser is to integrate Tab Groups into Chrome for Android’s recent “Duet” redesign.
As it stands today, Chrome for Android’s tab groups UI uses a bar along the bottom of the screen to allow you to quickly switch among your current group of tabs. At the same time, Chrome for Android’s “Duet” redesign moves the browser’s UI from the top of the screen to the bottom.
As both of these features seem to be here to stay, Google needed to find a clean way to combine the two, rather than running two distinct toolbars at the bottom of your screen. A new flag in Chrome for Android, currently available in Dev and Canary, brings tab groups to Duet in a much smaller UI.
Allows users to access integration of Duet and TabStrip.
The new experimental UI takes the “strip” of favicons from tab groups and lets it float just above the tab count button. On the same strip, you’ll see a plus (+) icon to add a new tab to the group and a down arrow to hide the strip.
Once the strip has been hidden, you can open it again by long-pressing on the tab count. As you add more tabs to your group, the strip gets wider to compensate and allows you to scroll once you’ve run out of room.
The biggest problem with this tab strip design though is that there’s no easy way to distinguish between two tabs that have the same favicon. If you forget what order your tabs are in, you can end up wildly swapping around to find the right one. Thankfully, you can still preview each tab’s title and thumbnail from the main tab switcher UI.
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