Google has updated Chrome for Android with special features to make it easier to multitask on Android tablets and on its forthcoming Pixel Tablet.
Chrome is gaining a new side-by-side option to make it easier to find the right tab when multiple ones are in use. There’s an auto-scroll back feature for quick access to the previous tab.
Also, Chrome now hides the close button when many tabs are open and they’ve become too small. This should help users avoid accidentally closing a tab. And there’s an option to restore accidentally closed tabs.
Another visual change for users who work with a lot of open tabs is the grid view of tabs. Grid view also offers a preview of content in an open tab. It also has benefits for foldable devices like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Flip.
“Visual tabs also help if you have a foldable device, because the smaller, folded screen on the outside matches the bigger screen on the inside of your tablet,” Google notes in a blogpost.
More on the multi-tasking side for Android tablets: Chrome users can drag images, texts and links from Chrome and drop them into other apps, including Gmail, Photos and Keep.
Chrome on Android users can also now choose to browse in desktop mode when the mobile site feels uncomfortable. A setting allows users to always request and display the desktop version of the site.
And coming soon to Chrome on Android tablets is the Chrome desktop feature, tab groups, which lets users add tabs to a group related to a topic.
The Chrome update for tablets follows Google’s recent updates to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Keep to improve them for larger screen Androids. These build on Android 12L updates for Android tablets. It’s updating about 20 apps for tablets.
After neglecting Android tablets for years, Google this year set out to improve the Android tablet experience.
Google unveiled the Pixel Tablet earlier this month at its Made by Google event. The Pixel Tablet features a charging speaker dock that transforms the tablet into a smart home hub like Google Nest Hub or Amazon Echo Show. The tablet is equipped with Google’s new Tensor G2 chip. It’s been working with developers to ensure support for split-screen and stylus input, but hasn’t revealed prices or shipping dates yet.