Android Chrome Tab Switcher Steals One Of Twitter's Best Features

Chrome tab switcher search chip AH 2020

The Tab Switcher in Chrome for Android now gives users its own take on one of the most useful Twitter features. That’s based on a recent report from Android Police.

Of course, that’s the trending search feature found on Twitter’s search page. And Google has apparently been prepping its own take on that. That’s if the update ever makes its way out of the Beta, Dev, and Canary Channels. But, unlike Twitter, this change isn’t appearing on any search page.

Google has placed its trending searches UI directly into Chrome’s tab switcher, directly into the grid variant of its tab switcher. For clarity, that tab switcher variant was first introduced as part of the tab grouping experience. And that’s where it’s found too.


The search giant is still working on the feature behind the scenes. But, for now, there is a variant of that switcher that not only features a helpful search bar at the top. It also now features a scrollable row of helpful search chips, each with a trending search term. Those aren’t personalized in any way. Instead, they showcase what everybody is searching for. Similar to the way Twitter’s trending features show what users are talking about.

That could change, in the future, with Google gearing the chips toward trends users might specifically — individually — be interested in.

Chrome for Android’s new tab switcher still requires flag settings for now

Now, gaining access to the tab switcher and the associated trending search carousel still requires some behind-the-scenes changes. Namely, users will need to navigate to the “chrome://flags” URL and turn the feature on. The specific flag, which can be searched at the top of that page, is labeled “#enable-tab-grid-layout.”


Typically, users are presented with Default, Enabled, or Disabled with regard to flag options. Here, there are effectively no fewer than nine. The option that needs to be turned on is easy enough to spot though. That’s labeled “Enable Search term chip.”

Chrome will need to restart to instantiate the change.

What else could arrive with this feature, if it launches

Now, Google has been working to refine its tab grouping and tab grid layout for some time now. And it seems to change significantly with every update.


If Google does choose to step forward and release this tab switcher UI to the user-default Stable Channel, it will undoubtedly change some things first. It generally always does. And the interface has already undergone some changes here, in fact. Namely, with that flag enabled, users are presented with an Incognito toggle at the top of the page. That only appears after at least one Incognito tab has already been opened.

For now, this change is rolling out, as noted above, on the server-side. So users may have to wait quite some time before they see it land on their mobile device.

Search Trends Chrome Tab Switcher Android from Android Police
Tab grouping with Incognito toggle, search bar, and trending chips, as found in Chrome Canary