Google Chrome 91 is rolling out, forcing everyone to use the grid layout for tabs
Last month, Google rolled out Chrome 90 on the stable channel. The update brought a multitude of changes, including loading HTTPS version of sites by default, support for AV1 encoder, the ability to link directly to highlighted text on webpages, and more. Today Google is rolling out Chrome 91, which entered the beta channel two weeks ago and is now finally graduating to the stable channel. As always, the latest version is introducing several new changes for users and web developers.
Following growing criticism over how resource-hungry Chrome had become in recent times, Google has been hard at work improving and optimizing the overall performance of Chrome. Chrome 89 introduced “freeze-dried tabs,” which boosted the launch time of Chrome on Android by up to 13%. Meanwhile, a new update last month promised up to a 35% reduction in CPU usage by prioritizing active tabs and freezing the idle ones. Chrome 91 builds upon (via Android Police) these improvements and will start freezing collapsed Tab Groups to free up memory and reduce CPU usage.
Earlier in January, Google started rolling out a new grid layout and tab grouping in Chrome on Android. If you weren’t a fan of this UI, it was possible to disable the grid view and switch to the old design by toggling three flags in chrome://flags. But starting with Chrome 91, it’s now no longer possible to disable the grid view for tabs.
Chrome 91 is also revamping the appearance of form controls such as checkboxes, radio buttons, sliders, etc. This visual refresh, built-in collaboration with Microsoft, is already live on Chrome desktop and Microsoft Edge. Now, it’s finally making its way to Android. As you can see in the screenshots below, the new redesign looks much more modern and refreshing.
On Android tablets that have a large display (think 10–inch and above), Chrome will load desktop versions of websites by default instead of the mobile version. We spotted this change in Chromium Gerrit back in March, and it’s finally going live in Chrome 91.
On the desktop side, web apps can now read files from the clipboard, allowing users to use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V shortcuts to attach files in emails and other websites. Previously, users were restricted to manually picking files from the file manager and the drag and drop method. This feature first arrived on Chrome 91 beta but was hidden behind a flag. But it’s now live in Chrome 91 without needing to enable any flag.
Sites that have multiple domains but uses the same log-in system can now associate their sites with one another. This, in turn, will enable Chrome’s password manager to auto-fill credentials across all associated sites.
Finally, flags for several features that were previously spotted in Chrome Canary are now present in Chrome 91, including global media controls, the new Commander feature, and a native dark theme for Incognito mode. For information, including all the developer-related stuff, check out Google’s official blog post.
Chrome 90 will be rolling out to the stable channel on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android in the coming days.