Google Chrome 85 Delivers Improvements to Tabs

Posted on August 25, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Google Chrome with 12 Comments

Google has announced the availability of Chrome 85, which adds several new tabs-related features to the popular web browser.

“We want Chrome to help you be more productive,” Google’s Alex Ainslie writes. “Today we’re sharing a number of improvements, including tabs that load faster and new features that let you organize and find them easily.”

New tabs-related features in the latest version of Chrome include:

Tab groups improvements. Tab groups helps Chrome users visually distinguish tabs by topic, task, or priority. But now you can collapse and expand tab groups, answering a popular feature request.

Tab previews. Similar to a feature from Legacy Edge, this feature is available in Chrome Beta and displays tab previews when you hover over a tab with the mouse pointer.

Tablet mode improvements. Available first on Chromebook—and, I assume, coming later to touch-based Windows PCs—Chrome now provides a new touchscreen interface with larger and more easily organized tabs.

Open tab recommendations. Available now on Android, this feature will automatically recommend relevant open tabs when you start typing a page title into the address bar. (This feature debuted previously in Chrome for desktops.)

PDF improvements. “Over the next few weeks,” Chrome users will be able to fill out PDF forms and save them with any changes directly from Chrome. “If you open the file again, you can pick up where you left off,” the firm notes.

URL sharing improvements. On Android, you can now more easily copy a link, send it to Chrome on your other devices, and send links through other apps. On desktop, you can now generate a QR code to scan or download using a new QR icon in the address bar.

Performance improvements. Thanks to “under-the-hood performance improvements,” Chrome tabs load up to 10 percent faster, Google says.

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Google Chrome 85 Delivers Improvements to Tabs”

  1. kshsystems

    out of curiosity, how much code in the Chrome browser exists separately from the Chromium code base?

    • jhoersch

      In reply to kshsystems:

      I don't have exact numbers, but my understanding is that code that's in Chrome but not Chromium is basically only code that can't legally be open sourced due to licensing or other reasons. Otherwise it's all in Chromium.

  2. c_j_martinez

    To your knowledge, are any of these Microsoft contributions to Chromium? Like the tab throttling for example? Those tab groups seem inspired by a similar feature in Opera and Collections in Edge

  3. rusty chameleon

    These look like great additions.

    I wonder if they are chrome only, or if they're going to chromium and therefore Edge as well?

  4. scovious

    I remember this feature from Internet Explorer, it was pretty nice. I wonder if it will blend with Edge's vertical tabs or not...

  5. fork

    I do like the sound of the tab groups. So often my Google Chrome tab list is so long that I can only see the favicons for each site and I no longer know what each one is until I click on it. Being able to hide/collapse a bunch at a time will be very useful.

  6. BigM72

    Are these benefits specific to Chrome or also accrue to other Chromium browsers? Especially the performance changes

  7. ghostrider

    Finally! Chrome tabs was a great idea, but without being able to collapse them, it was half-baked.

  8. shmuelie

    For those asking, these features are in Edge too, though some are behind feature flags (like the tab previews)

  9. Username

    As far as I’m aware, no other browser can render to PDF - essential for hoarders like myself. Even beats Acrobat Pro’s “create from web page.”

    [ Not same as print to PDF printer driver.]

  10. boots

    I am running Chrome version 85.0.4183.83. The Tab groups are there, but I can't collapse and expand them.

  11. spiderman2

    oh they added some good old Egde stuff