Google to start rolling out Chrome Tab Groups feature next week

After 19 months under development, Chrome will finally get support for tab grouping.

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Image: Google

The Chrome Tab Groups feature is ready for primetime. After spending 19 months in development, Google announced today that Chrome 83, to be released next week, will include support for tab groups.

Work on this feature started in November 2018, and an early version rolled out into limited testing in March 2019, when ZDNet obtained an early look at how the feature looked and worked at the time.

Chrome Tab Groups

Image: Bret Sepulveda

In the meantime, development on the Chrome tab grouping feature has continued, and the feature has received a new interface and additional user interaction improvements, such as the ability to select tab group colors, the ability to add tab group names, and the ability to drag tab groups around the tab bar.

Tab Groups has been long-awaited in the Chrome community, where it's been one of the most requested features for years. Until today, users who wanted to group tabs would usually had to install a third-party Chrome extension.

Starting next week, Chrome will join the ranks of Vivaldi and Opera as browsers that support an official tab grouping capability. On Vivaldi, the feature is currently referred to as Tab Stacks, while on Opera the feature is called Workspaces.

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Tab stacking feature in Vivaldi

The concept of grouping tabs together was first pioneered in Opera in the late 2000s, in a now-abandoned browser engine.

Firefox also shipped a Tab Groups feature, but was later removed from the browser's main codebase -- although Mozilla still provides APIs to extension developers to support similar functionality.

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