Google is prepping a new feature for release on Chrome for Android mobile, offering users the ability to open multiple windows within Android 12’s split-screen mode.
The new feature means that users of the best Android phones can open many instances of their browser, which affords the ability to better multitask, as well as streamline their workflow when juggling multiple tabs and windows.
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XDA Developers (opens in new tab) identified the new capability in several strings of code supplied to the Chromium Gerrit, which is the hub where software developers can look at each other’s modifications. The new strings of code pave the way for the opening of multiple tabs in every individual version of Google Chrome on Android, within each respective section of the split-screen mode.
Amongst the design features, each Chrome instance also has its own personal entry in the ‘Recent Apps’ view to keep each distinct. This lends itself to better browser organization, letting users quickly switch between multiple windows on Android's Chrome app (opens in new tab). Present limitations mean that, while you can have multiple windows open in Chrome for Android’s existing split-screen mode, you’re limited to a maximum of two instances – you'll now get up to five in the new update.
Juggling multiple tabs and windows
The upcoming change means that a ‘New Window’ button is now embedded in the browser, appearing on-screen once your device enters split-screen mode. Users can then open another Chrome window in the empty part of their screens.
Though it may all sound rather confusing at the moment, the result should be a smoother multi-tasking experience brought to Android 12 devices. We can see this being especially effective in devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, which could take advantage of the dexterous layout, opening, and switching between lots of tabs and windows on its folding screen, as is custom on a desktop.
Speaking of improvements to tabs and windows, Google has been busy revamping this area of Chrome's interface, delivering several important updates like the ability to instantly relaunch closed tabs and save Tab Groups in-browser.