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Google, what have you done to my bookmark bar?
As initially spotted by Chrome Unboxed, Google has so-called “Power Bookmarks” in the works that are supposed to supercharge bookmarks, tab groups, and recent searches. In the long term, Power Bookmarks are supposed to be the central, automated hub helping you bring together the sites you visited and the products you’ve looked at during shopping.
Right now, the scope is much more limited, though. When you enable the chrome://flags/#tab-groups-save flag in Chrome 95 and restart your browser, you’ll see that the folders in your bookmarks bar have lost their folder icons, making way for a pastel red background. When you left-click on these, you won’t see the usual drop-down menu that lists all the bookmarks in them. You’ll instead notice that all saved sites will be opened in a tab group. To access the regular folder, you’ll have to right-click the item instead. This means that there’s no way to access the regular right-click menu anymore, so it’s impossible to rename the folders from the bar or to open all bookmarks in a new window. These are actions I personally don’t need often, but I’d wager it’s going to be annoying enough for those who do.
It’s clear that this is still actively being worked on, though. The Other Bookmarks shortcut on the right of the bar also opens all saved sites in a tab group when left-clicking it, but there’s currently no way of seeing the saved bookmarks in it at all — the regular right-click menu remains intact for this folder.
We can only hope that Google fully reconsiders this approach, as it throws out a good decade of UX conventions. When left-clicking a folder, next to nobody would expect it to open all of its contents. However, it’s possible that we simply don’t see the full picture yet. If “Power Bookmarks” are really supposed to completely revamp bookmarks on Chrome, we might be in for some more changes that will put this behavior in new light.
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