Chrome for Android gets some tablet-friendly optimizations

News Summary:

  • The first feature is the visual tab grid, which works similarly to how Chrome groups tabs on Android. The visual tab grid displays a small screenshot of each open tab when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. It’s also been configured to work with foldables, which means you can tap back and forth between websites without squinting the link. This feature is useful if you frequently navigate between tabs. I’m constantly switching between Reddit, mobile Twitter, and my Tamagotchi shopping site on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 when I have it open in tablet mode.

  • A Chrome update is rolling out this week that includes a handful of tablet-friendly features, some of which are taken directly from the desktop version of the browser app.

When I’m in a hurry and accidentally close a tab I need, I often let out a bloodcurdling scream. Google hopes Chrome’s new side-by-side interface for Android tablets will help avoid this, as the close button is hidden in this mode. The skill includes an auto-scroll feature that lets you scroll through tabs by simply swiping left across the browser screen.

A tab group feature, which is already present in the desktop version of Chrome for Mac and PC, will appear soon, but Google has not yet given a date. It also mentions that these features will work on the new Pixel tablet “when it launches next year.” That’s all we know so far about the famed tablet for first-time users. What should be a relative, run-of-the-mill feature drop feels like Google reminding us to wait for the upcoming tablet.

With the latest update, users can also drag images, text and links from Chrome and drop them into apps like Gmail, Google Keep and Google Photos.

All we have are the breadcrumbs from that pill. We know it will launch in 2023 and be accompanied by a speaker dock that makes it look like a Nest Smart Display. But we don’t know the specs, nor do we know if it has all the ingredients to compete with Apple’s iPad – and the other Android tablets that have managed to survive this long.

The update for Chrome for Android tablets is rolling out now via the Google Play Store. It takes a few days, but it’s easy to see if it’s reached you. Check the app in the Play Store on your tablet device, tap About This App, and then scroll down until you see the date of the update. I’m especially curious to see how Chrome’s new visual tab grid will work when opening and closing the Galaxy Z Fold 4.