First image surfaces of Google Chrome's upcoming Tab Groups feature

Work on Tab Groups is still in its early phases. Feature won't be ready for months.

Chrome Tab Groups

Image: Bret Sepulveda

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Four months after Google engineers started working on the feature, today we have the first image of Chrome's upcoming Tab Groups UI.

The feature was one that was sadly lacking in Chrome, and one that some users will greatly appreciate.

As portrayed in the image above and as its name hints, Chrome Tab Groups will let users organize tabs together, in multiple groups, allowing for a much greater level of control for messy Chrome users who work with tens of tabs at a time.

To be clear, the feature is still a long way from being finished, and this is just a screenshot released by a Chromium engineer.

Current versions of Chrome Canary, Google's testing playground for upcoming Chrome features, don't yet support the new interface.

The only Tab Groups-related functionality implemented in Chrome Canary right now is a right-click menu that sometimes loses tracks of tabs and their respective groups.

Chrome Tab Groups menu

However, most of the Tab Groups development over the past few months has been on creating the codebase on which the UI will work.

If Chrome users want to be on the forefront of Tab Groups testing, they'll need to install Chrome Canary, visit the chrome://flags page, and enable the Tab Groups option.

Chrome Tab Groups flag

Until a stable version of Tab Groups lands in Chrome, users who have a habit of working with more tabs than they can handle will have to rely on third-party extensions currently available on the Chrome Web Store --or use other browsers.

Vivaldi, a web browser based on Chromium, the same engine at the heart of Google Chrome, already supports Tab Groups functionality, although in a different manner, using a concept first seen in older Opera versions.

vivaldi-tab-stacking.png

Tab stacking feature in Vivaldi

Firefox used to have a Tab Groups feature, but Mozilla removed it from its code after telemetry showed that very few users were using it and supporting its codebase became too costly for the Firefox devs.

tab-groups-firefox.png

Knowing of Tab Groups' demise in Firefox questions Google's decision to start working on such a feature in the first place, but user feedback has been mostly positive, until now.

More browser coverage: