Tab Groups version 2 is a massive update for the highly popular Firefox add-on that filled the gap after Mozilla decided to pull the Tab Groups native feature from the web browser.
Tab Groups, formerly known under names such as Eye Candy or Panoramas, allowed users of Firefox to create group of tabs that they could switch between.
This improved tab manageability as only part of all open tabs were displayed visually in the browser window at the same time.
I never liked Tab Groups which can be mostly attributed to early versions of it that tended to forget about certain tab groups I created, and most Firefox users probably never heard of the feature as it was not really advertised in the browser UI.
Tab Groups version 2
If you want to know more about the add-on, I suggest you check out my initial review of Tab Groups for Firefox. Tab Groups grew quickly and boasts more than 93,000 users and 220 user reviews with an average rating of 5/5 right now.
The author of the add-on released a massive update two days ago that introduces a truckload of new features.
So what is new in Tab Groups version 2?
- The quick access panel provides an option to switch between tabs and groups without having to open groups view (can be disabled so that the groups view is launched when you click on the icon).
- New single view and grid layout modes on the groups view page. Single view mode shows the current group “stretched across the whole window”, while grid layout all groups in grids that make use of the full window dimensions.
- A separate area for pinned tabs is now available that is displayed underneath the control area on the groups view page. You can drag and drop tabs to and from that area.
- Open new tab page is available for all groups now but only in single view and grid view. Using the feature activates the tab group automatically.
- New option displays sound playing tabs in groups view, and options to mute those tabs integrated.
- New option to scroll groups instead of stacking them when too many tabs are open.
- Tab Thumbnails can be hidden for each group.
- Support for regular expressions to quickly find tabs.
- Tabs context menus work while in groups view.
- The active group is highlighted on Firefox’s frontend.
- Tab Mix Plus styling is applied automatically if the add-on is used.
- Empty groups can be discared automatically.
- Restore tabs and groups from backups created by Session Manager, Tab Mix Plus or Firefox itself.
Performance and stability has been improved in this version of Tab Groups on top of that, many things were changed as well.
To name a few: improved memory consumption, rewrite of the search interface, better support for high definition screens, better representation of sites by thumbnails and a lot more.
The author has been criticized heavily for some of the changes, like the different default view mode when viewing tab groups. The criticism is largely unjustified though as features like free arrange are still available.
Another thing the author has been criticized for is a one-time support message displayed on the tab management screen. I think this is perfectly acceptable considering that requests for support are largely ignored on Mozilla’s website and that many users are probably unaware that such an option exist in the first place.
Tab Groups version 2 is an important update that changes some things around but makes most of it better once you realize that the majority of options that existed in the previous version of the add-on are still there.
Now You: Do you use a browser extension like Tab Groups? What’s your take on the changes?