After years of neglecting the app experience on Android tablets, Google is paying more attention to changing things up. Earlier this year, the search giant introduced Android 12L, which brought an improved interface and multitasking experience to tablets and folds. At the Google IO developer conference in May, it promised to fine-tune more than 20 of its apps for the tablet experience. Now, the search giant is starting to realize that promise, starting with the Chrome browser.
Google has released an update to Chrome for Android tablets that includes new features such as side-by-side navigation for additional tabs and the ability to drag and drop information from Chrome.
Side view helps users navigate between tabs by swiping the address bar (as shown in the GIF below). This is useful when you can’t really read the tab names in settings like split screen.
Drag-and-drop functionality lets users move links, images, and text from Chrome into apps like Gmail, Keep, and Photos. See it in action in the GIF below. Google introduced drag-and-drop functionality to apps like Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slide, and Keep on Android tablets in July.
In addition, the refined Chrome for Android tablets adds a grid layout for tabs to make it easier for users to navigate between them, rather than having to traverse a horizontal line of tabs. The update also allows users to see larger previews of open tabs when swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This feature is already available via a tab switcher in Chrome’s smartphone app.
The company says its tab groups feature — first introduced to Chrome for desktop in 2020 — is also “coming soon” to Chrome for tablets.
“Whether you prefer to use a mouse, a stylus, or your finger, the Chrome experience on Android should be as intuitive and familiar as it is on your computer or phone. We’re constantly exploring new ways to make Chrome easier and more enjoyable to use on your Android tablet — whether it’s easier navigation with a visual tab grid, whether it’s switching to desktop mode or quickly finding a tab,” said Lola Adams, product manager at Chrome, in a statement.
As Google prepares to release its Pixel tablet next year, it’s gradually improving the Android tablet experience with app updates and software updates.