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Tab Search in Google Chrome is getting timestamps and dynamic height

The Chrome browser team is actively working on improving the recently introduced Tab Search option. With latest updates in Canary, the Tab Search flyout has got variable height, and also features timestamps to show you the last time you interact with a tab.

When you open multiple tabs, their width will reduce until you can only see the icon. Further opening tabs will make the icon disappear too. This makes it hard to quickly go to a specific tab. The new Tab Search feature can help in this situation.

Tab Search can be opened with a button in the tab row. It will open a search flyout that allows typing the tab name. There is also a hotkey to open it, Ctrl+Shift+E.

Upcoming Tab Search improvements

The Tab Search feature flyout is the current stable version of Chrome is small. it only shows five tabs.

However, this has changed. In the future the height of this menu will dynamically adapt depending on the number of open tabs and the height of the window. You can already spot this change in the latest Canary build of Chrome.

Developers describe this change as follows.

The Tab search contents now have a height based on the browser's height. In order to facilitate identifying the ideal items list count, the infinite list no longer uses the dom-repeat or the chunkItemCount property, and instead calculates its height by first adding an item to the DOM and then estimating an average item height to use in determining its overall height and the additional number of items to add to fill the current viewport.

Additionally, focus management has been updated so that on removing a focused list item the subsequent item will be given focus. In the case there is no subsequent element, the preceding element is given focus.

Another improvement made to Tab Search is that the results may include recently closed tabs. Google adds a special APIs to access those tab from the search flyout.


Timestamps in Tab Search

Again available in Canary, this feature displays the last access time for tabs in the Tab Search flyout. Here is how it looks.

It is unknown when these features will hit the stable branch of the browser. If you are interested in trying them in action, install Chrome Canary. Also, you may want to learn how to enable or disable the Tab Search feature.

Thanks to Leo for this tip.

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