If you run Google Chrome Canary, the cutting edge development version of the Chrome browser, you may have noticed that Google modified the Tab context menu heavily.
A right-click on a tab in the Chrome browser displays a number of options that are mostly tab-related. The menu lists options to create a new tab, pin a tab, close a tab, bookmark all tabs, or undo the last closed tab among other things.
Going forward, some of these options may no longer be available in the context menu. A right-click on a tab in Chrome Canary displays the following options only: Reload, Duplicate, Pin, Mute site, Close, Close tabs to the right.
The options to create a new tab, duplicate, close other tabs, reopen closed tab, and bookmark all tabs have been removed from the menu.
Google moved some of these to the context menu of the tab bar instead. When you right-click on the tab bar, you will see three of the missing options — new tab, reopen closed tab, bookmark all tabs — there.
The duplicate option appears to have been removed completely.
Why is Google planning to make the change? A chromium commit provides the following explanation:
Update tab and frame context menus to match most recent UX specs.
This removes four entries from the tab context menu; changes the text on several
others to stop saying “tab(s)” explicitly; adds one entry to the frame context
menu; and changes the bookmark-related menu entry strings from “page” to “tab”
Most of the file changes here are due to renaming enums/APIs to match the string
According to the commit, context menus are updated to match user experience specifications. Development is very data driven; it seems likely that Google looked at usage numbers as well before it started to move items around or remove them entirely.
Some of the moved options can still be triggered with shortcuts, e.g. Ctrl-T to open a New Tab. Still, the removal will impact Chrome users who used some of the removed context menu options when they used the browser.
One of Chrome’s biggest strengths up to this point was consistency. Google did not really make many changes that affected the workflow of Chrome users. Google made some changes recently that affected the experience of Chrome users. The sign-in sync of Google sites and Chrome, or the hiding of important information in the address bar (which Google pulled and reinstated in Chrome 76) are just two examples. Both of these received edits after launch.
The planned switch to a new manifest for Chrome extensions could affect existing extensions, e.g. content blockers, significantly as well.
The changes to Chrome’s tab context menu are not a done deal yet and it is possible that Google is restoring some options to the context menu before the changes land in Stable. Still, it is another change that will impact the experience of Chrome users.
Now You: Which tab options do you use regularly? What is your take on the removal?
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