You there! Reader! Be honest: How many tabs do you have open right now? Is your tab bar an unsalvageable mess with so many tabs you can barely read them? Soon, desktop Chrome might have a solution for you: automatically created tab groups, thanks to the power of AI.
Google’s latest blog post details the new AI feature in Chrome 121, one of which will “organize similar tabs” by scanning your tab bar and automatically create smartly named tab groups. The tab menu in Chrome will soon be tabbed itself, with “All tabs” showing the usual list of tabs and a second “Organize tabs” section with a button that will automatically group your tabs. Google says you’ll be able to right-click on your tabs and hit “organize,” too.
The example gif grabs a bunch of Pixel 8 tabs, gives them a colored tab group, and names them “Google Pixel,” complete with an emoji in the name. Tab groups became a part of Chrome in 2020, and if you’ve never tried them, they’re pretty useful. All the tab groups take on a colored highlight across your grouped tabs, and clicking on the tab group name will collapse the group.
As detailed by Bloomberg, Google is in the era of mandatory AI features. Just like during the Google+ push when every single Google product needed a social feature, the wording from Bloomberg is that Google issued “a directive that all of its most important products—those with more than a billion users—must incorporate generative AI within months.” Most of Google’s AI features feel like exactly what they are: someone doing the bare minimum to meet a requirement set by their manager. Automatic tab groups seem useful, though. I like tab groups if I force myself to try them, but never think to use them until it’s too late and a thousand tabs are open. When my tab bar is already messy, trying to organize everything feels like a waste of time. In the middle of a heavy browsing session, having a computer whip everything into basic categories sounds very useful.
The two other features in Google’s blog post are less exciting. One will automatically make a wallpaper for the New Tab Page by using AI. The other is called “Help me write” and will put a writing assistant directly into some web input boxes. While the wallpaper generator and tab organizer should be out today, the writing assistant will be out “in next month’s Chrome release.”
Google calls all of these AI features “experimental,” and even something like the automatic tab grouping has a thumbs up/thumbs down button right next to it, an AI disclaimer, and a “learn more” link.