After ignoring the app experience on Android tablets for years, Google appears increasingly focused on turning things around. Earlier this year, the search giant introduced Android 12L, which brought an improved interface and multitasking experience to tablets and foldable. At the developer conference Google IO in May, it promised to fine-tune over 20 of its own apps for the tablet experience. Now the search giant is beginning to deliver on that pledge, starting with the browser Chrome.
Google has rolled out an update to Chrome for Android tablets that introduces new features such as a side-by-side view for improved tab navigation and the ability to drag-and-drop information out of Chrome.
The side-by-side view will help users navigate between tabs by swiping across the address bar (as shown in the GIF below). This is helpful when you can’t really read tab names in settings such as split-screen.
The drag-and-drop functionality allows users to move around links, images and text from Chrome to apps such as Gmail, Keep and Photos. Watch it in action in the GIF below. Google introduced a similar drag-and-drop support for apps such as Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slide and Keep on Android tablets in July.
What’s more, the refined Chrome for Android tablets adds a grid layout for tabs to make it easier for users to switch between them — instead of having to traverse through the horizontal line of tabs. The revamp also allows users to see large-sized previews of currently open tabs when they swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This feature is already available on Chrome’s smartphone app through the tab switcher.
The company said its tab groups feature — first introduced for Chrome for desktop in 2020 — is also “coming soon” to Chrome for tablets.
“No matter if you prefer using a mouse, a stylus, or your finger, the Chrome on Android experience should be as intuitive and familiar on tablets as on your computer or phone. We’re constantly exploring new ways to make it easier and more enjoyable to use Chrome on your Android tablet — whether it’s easier navigation with the visual tab grid, switching to desktop mode, or finding the tab quickly,” said Lola Adams, product manager, Chrome, in a statement.
Google is slowly improving the Android tablet experience through app refreshes and software updates as it prepares to launch its own Pixel tablet next year.