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Chrome for Android no longer merging apps and tabs by default

Chrome for Android no longer merges apps and tabs together by default, which will likely be a welcome change for many of us.

Published onMarch 17, 2016


Quick show of hands, how many of you actually liked when Chrome began populating the recent apps menu with every single one of your open tabs, starting with Lollipop? I suspect that not many of you put your hands up, probably because you didn’t like the feature at all, or you realize I can’t actually see you put your hand up anyhow. Personally, this was one of the first things I shut off in the Chrome settings and was totally thankful that Google was merciful enough to give us the option of disabling this ‘feature’.

Apparently, Google must have noticed that most of us weren’t so keen on this feature as well, as it appears that newer versions of Chrome automatically disable the feature out of the box. This means that the ‘traditional’ tabs menu in Chrome is present, and Chrome is represented as just a single card in the recent apps menu. Now if you happened to actually like the multiple cards for each your browser tabs (I won’t judge you), you’ll now have to go into settings and click on the “Merge tabs and apps” option to enable it.

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Of course, this only applies to new phones or clean Chrome 49 (or higher) installations. If you were rocking an older Chrome version and merely upgraded without doing a fresh install, your current preferences will stay the same as always. This change should apply to all newer devices with current versions of Chrome going forward. I can confirm this change exists not only for the new Android N preview, but even for other new devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It was something I noticed in the review, but originally I thought it might just be a “Samsung thing”. Apparently not.

What do you think, glad to see Google moving away from the flood of browser tab cards? Or was this a feature you enjoyed? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

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