Google will be upgrading the web apps soon by adding ‘tabbed’
display mode/interface i.e tabs to the web apps on Windows 11,
Windows 10, and other desktop platforms. The company dropped
the hint of the feature in a bug post filed in
2018 and it’s now planning to prototype the idea, according to
a document spotted by us.
Google wants web apps to be as powerful as possible, and one
way to do that is to make multitasking easier. All browsers
have tabs and it would make sense if web apps support tabs too.
Google believes tabbed display mode in web apps will allow you
to access various features of the PWA without leaving the
This can make copying, uploading and navigation much easier
than the current web apps, where you need to rely on a web
browser or other apps to perform certain tasks. With the
current implementation, when in a web app, if you click on a
link, the web app loses focus and users are redirected to a
With a ‘tabbed’ interface or display, Google believes it is
possible to have a behaviour similar to a regular browser
window. For example, tabs in web apps will let you open
multiple documents from an index page.
Google is exploring support for a new display mode “tabbed” and
a new variable “tab_strip” in a new manifest which lets web
“Currently PWAs in a standalone window can only have one page
open at a time. Some apps expect users to have many pages open
at once. Tabbed mode adds a tab strip to standalone web apps
that allows multiple tabs to be open at once,” Google noted in
In the above code, the “home tab” refers to the primary or
pinned tab of the web app that will always open when you launch
the web app. If you click on a link within this pinned tab or
homepage, it will direct you to a new tab. The new manifest
field enables customization of the tab strip, according to the
Google says “apps can choose to customize the URL this tab is
locked to and the icon displayed on the tab”.
Additionally, user agents can decide where to handle these tabs
around to create new windows or combine them with browser tabs.
This feature can be particularly useful for productivity apps
that allow editing multiple documents at once and have a home
tab i.e a homepage. For example, Office for Windows comes with
a homepage and it includes links to the documents and other
Similarly, Google’s web apps with a tabbed interface can use
the home tab as a menu to open existing files, all of which
would then open in their own tab.
According to a post on Google’s Chromium discussion
forum, Google will be adding this feature to the browser
soon and users can test it with a new flag
In addition to web app improvements,
Google Chrome is also getting modern scrollbars on Windows
11 and Windows 10.