Google is working on a new Chrome feature that will make reopening closed tabs faster. Named Closed Tab Cache, (ClosedTabCache) this new feature will cache the contents of closed tabs.
What is Closed Tab Cache?
Remember the back-forward cache feature that Google added to Chrome in 2019? Closed Tab Cache also works similarly to that.
When this feature is ready, reopened tabs will open instantaneously.
Luckily for us, the design document for this new feature is publicly available. Allow me to quote this document:
“We want to make the “Reopen Closed Tab” button instant for very recently closed tabs. We are currently (June 2020) actively working on delivering the BackForwardCache for Chrome. This cache will make back and forward navigation instant. We want to reuse the work being done there to also be able to quickly restore recently closed tabs. The main use case being accidental clicks where the restore happens shortly after the close. We expect to get a big UX win by being able to restore such tabs instantly with their entire state.”
As you can see, closed tab cache works the way and reuses some of the work that the Chrome team did for BackForwardCache.
According to the design document, this feature is already available in Android.
“Android already has support for this, see tabPendingClosure. If we decide to have this cache in content/ layer, we should share as much of the implementation as possible (some of the Android code is in Java so that might not be that easy)”
When can we test this?
We spotted this code change request today. The changed code does not show an experimental flag name and description. The feature request bug states “52” against “Estimated days”
This means we are weeks away from getting an experimental flag to test this feature in the Canary channel and other versions.
This is indeed an exciting feature. We will keep a close eye on upcoming Canary channel updates and bring you the good news soon.
Do you think this feature will make it to Edge and other Chromium based browsers too? Let us know in the comments section.