Brave Browser for Android removes support Tab Stack view, forcing users to use the Grid layout

Ashwin
Mar 14, 2022
Brave
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30

Brave Browser for Android was updated to version 1.36.112 recently. The latest build of the app has removed the Tab Stack view, and instead forces the Grid layout as the only way to switch between tabs.

Brave Browser for Android Tab Stack view

The above screenshot shows stacked tabs (cascade view) in Brave Browser in an older version of the app.

And this is what the new Grid layout looks like in the browser's current version.

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Brave Browser for Android removes Tab Stack view

Firefox users may remember that the grid view was added to the mobile version of the browser in version 84, that was released in December 2020. As a Firefox user, I never really liked the grid layout or the idle tabs for that matter. It's an awful way to browse and manage tabs, which is why I use the List view. Though it does not look as good as stacked tabs, but it's better than the grid view.

Why do browser developers keep pushing Grid view as if it is the best option for tabs? Mobile devices have small screens, and hence can only display a limited number of cards at a time, which means the user has to scroll through a longer list of tabs than in stacked view.

This problem began about a year ago, when Google Chrome v88 introduced Grid View for tabs. Users had the option to disable it by changing a preference, that didn't last long, as Google removed the option to disable tab groups when Chrome 91 was rolled out.

Brave browser on the other hand, used to support it until the latest update. If you are still on an older version of the app, head to brave://flags and search for Tab Grid Layout, and Tab Groups. Tap on the drop-down menu and change the values for each flag from default to disabled. This used to turn off the grid view, and bring back the good old tab stack mode. But not anymore, even though the flags exist, modifying them does nothing.

The Chromium open source project is the reason for this change. I'm not defending Brave, I'm just pointing out where the change began. Since Brave Browser relies on the same source code, it too removed said feature from the latest version. The app's appearance page no longer has the option to disable Tab Groups either, which probably explains why editing the flag doesn't work, the old view mode doesn't exist.

Brave users are furious about the change, and have raised their pitchforks over at the app's GitHub repository, the official community forums, and also voiced their concerns about the Grid Layout on reddit.

In a way, I'm glad Firefox offers List View as a choice for the user. Vivaldi users can opt to use a tab bar, but it is not exactly as easy to use as a tab stack, and the app's tab switcher uses the same grid view as Chromium-based browsers.

If you really want to disable Tab Groups in Brave browser, there is a workaround. I don't really recommend it since it involves downgrading the browser to a previous version, as it could put your data at risk due to security issues that were patched in later builds. If you don't care about that, download a beta build APK of Brave Browser from a few weeks ago. e.g. Beta 1.36.104.

how to disable tab groups in brave browser

Install the app, open the app's settings page, and navigate to the Appearance section. Toggle the option labeled "Tab Groups", to disable it. You will need to restart the app to get the tab stacking feature back.

Do you like tab stacks or grid view in mobile browsers?

Summary
Brave Browser for Android removes support Tab Stack view
Article Name
Brave Browser for Android removes support Tab Stack view
Description
The latest version of Brave Browser for Android is forcing users to use the Grid layout instead of Tab Stack view.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Taomyn said on March 14, 2022 at 3:01 pm
    Reply

    Yeah, I’m really annoyed by this, the grid view is dreadful.

    There’s an active Github issue that’s asking for the old view to come back https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/issues/21556#

  2. John G. said on March 14, 2022 at 3:06 pm
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    I like tab stacks in mobile browsers, as it’s more usefull imho. Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

  3. Gaius said on March 14, 2022 at 4:10 pm
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    Same here. I absolutely detest the grid view. It’s fine if they wanna make it default, but why remove the tab stack? It’s just asinine. There’s little I hate more than a company that tries to force me to do things I don’t want to. When that happens, I get defiant and do shit on principle. Like how Google removed miracast from Pixels. Most my shit has Chromecast, but I’m not using the cumbersome Google Home so they can have yet another way of keeping tabs on what I do, so I use DLNA or some other mode. Eventually, I’ll flash a custom recovery and put miracast back myself. Looks like I’m rolling back to previous version of Brave.

  4. Adam said on March 14, 2022 at 4:54 pm
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    Annoyed by this too. Uninstalled Brave and now using Samsung Browser which has 3 different options for tab viewmode, list, stack and grid.

    1. Dumbledalf said on March 15, 2022 at 8:55 am
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      Why not use Kiwi browser?

      1. Adam said on March 16, 2022 at 12:36 am
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        Tried Kiwi but doesn’t seem to have an option for menu navigation at the bottom and address bar on top.
        That and a stacked tabs view is what is the most important to me.

  5. Anonymous said on March 14, 2022 at 5:29 pm
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    Personally, I prefer the grid view. I’ve closed too many tabs accidently from the stacked tabs view.
    But, I’m not a fan of removing options. It’s ok to add grid view for those who want it, but Brave should have kept the stacked tabs view too.

  6. Yash said on March 14, 2022 at 7:34 pm
    Reply

    I actually like Grid view but it was best implemented in Firefox until version 68. I hate list view, main reason – with grid view you can see the scrolling position of page which helps in deciding whether to close it or not. Not possible with list view.

    After version 68 I was happy when it returned in Firefox. Issue with chromium browsers is that it covers full page and bars are huge which takes huge space. In current Firefox it doesn’t cover whole page. In version 68 even though it covered whole page, bars were smaller hence tabs easier to manage.

    No hate to Brave though. Their hands are tied. Even then it may return quickly.

  7. Pet said on March 14, 2022 at 10:02 pm
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    “Firefox users may remember that the grid view was added to the mobile version of the browser in version 84, that was released in December 2020. As a Firefox user, I never really liked the grid layout or the idle tabs for that matter. It’s an awful way to browse and manage tabs, which is why I use the List view. Though it does not look as good as stacked tabs, but it’s better than the grid view.”

    We simply dont care.

    Grid view is easy as the list one. Stop making articles out of nowhere with no reason. Apart from the site visits.

    1. Eskir said on March 16, 2022 at 12:53 am
      Reply

      You may not care. “we” certainly do. The sheer amount of people complaining (then and now) is testament to this.

      Coming from someone who dropped chrome after it tried cramming the shitty grid view down his throat. Yuck.

      Objectively speaking, your comment is bs.

    2. Jon said on March 16, 2022 at 2:49 am
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      You’re a complete idiot. Never comment again.

      Everybody cares. Grid view is terrible.

    3. Jeremy said on March 20, 2022 at 7:01 pm
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      Found the Chrome dev!

  8. Why? said on March 14, 2022 at 10:39 pm
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    Kiwi Browser has full extension support in Android. Why use anything else?

  9. Buddy said on March 15, 2022 at 2:01 am
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    Stacks, stacks, stacks !!!!!!!!!
    I changed from chrome to brave specifically to get a stacked view back. Guess I’m changing from brave to something else, now.

    1. Eesti POWER said on March 15, 2022 at 8:22 am
      Reply

      Kiwi has 6 different tab layouts to choose from. AND you can install chrome addons. This is a no-brainer, hands down superior browser for android in 2022. That Estonian developer is amazing, I’d follow him into battle!

  10. SlightlyUnhappyBraveUser said on March 15, 2022 at 4:14 am
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    This is why being so reliant on Chromium for development is not always the best thing.

    If you’re just a relatively small dev company, you don’t really have the power to deviate too much from what Google decides to do.

  11. Anonymous said on March 15, 2022 at 4:42 am
    Reply

    Thanks for letting us know.

    I was afraid for a minute I’d have to make my own mind up.

    PS Where is Iron Heart?
    I would have thought the Brave warrior would be here telling us how great this change was.

    1. Iron Heart said on March 15, 2022 at 4:12 pm
      Reply

      Bad yet minor change. Happy now? I don‘t comment on every Brave article, whether good news or bad news, don‘t be silly.

      1. m3city said on March 15, 2022 at 10:56 pm
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        But you do comment on every Firefox article, same style and same links most of the time. About a product you don’t value, coming from organisation you seem to despise. Funny. Not.

      2. Iron Heart said on March 16, 2022 at 1:41 am
        Reply

        @m3city

        It is none of your business, and I don’t have to justify myself before you regarding my commenting, the when, or the why.
        Only so much: If Mozilla were less pathetic, less greedy, and more trustworthy, a.k.a. the Mozilla of the 2000s, I would have very little to comment on in a negative fashion lately. Perhaps you should briefly reflect on the fact that this browser has 3% market share for a reason, instead of verbally beheading the messenger.

      3. m3city said on March 17, 2022 at 1:25 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        I think it is my business as well. This comment section is a public space, and your moaning on every FF related article, constant flame wars, lack of respect for other opinions, goalpost shifting etc clutter it and lower the general value of ghacks in my opinion. True, you don’t have to justify anything. It just tells me a lot about person without even knowing him/her in person.

        I don’t really care that you feel hurt by “Mozilla of the 2000s”, man up already if you found a better gal. And I don’t care it’s market share. There are people using k-meleon or even text-based web browsers you know, should they reflect to that as well? Are they dumb or sth?

      4. Iron Heart said on March 18, 2022 at 2:50 am
        Reply

        > I think it is my business as well.

        No, it isn’t. Ever heard the phrase “Don’t like it, don’t read it…”? Ever tried to apply that principle? Rest assured, I wouldn’t read your stuff either had you not commented under my post, and I don’t give a shit whether or not you read mine in turn. Yes, really.

        And forgive me for pointing that out, but you and some other posters here are basically walking advertisements for Firefox, and ineffective as it may be, you are promoting it any chance you got!? If I did the same thing for Brave, you would have no business complaining. Just accept that opinions may differ, and that I don’t have to like your shit just because you happen to use it.
        You should also get off that high horse, or supposed moral high ground if you will, as if using your shit makes your opinion inherently better than mine. You are supporting a company that is openly and strongly in favor of a censored, unfree Internet. What kind of moral authority do you think you can claim? That ship has sailed, just accept that not everyone is supportive of a totalitarian-minded (no joke) shit show of a company and their product. Our disagreements, and the supposed need for me to justify myself before you (LOL), stem from the fact that I do not support Deplatformingfox like you do, that’s OK, let’s just agree to disagree here. If you can’t even do that, just skip my posts. Problem solved.

      5. m3city said on March 18, 2022 at 9:47 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        “Ever heard the phrase “Don’t like it, don’t read it…”?”

        Yeah, I did. Did you?
        I seldom use “internet speech” but this time I’m gonna make an exception, so:
        ROFTL :)

      6. Iron Heart said on March 18, 2022 at 12:18 pm
        Reply

        @m3city

        > Yeah, I did.

        Now apply it in real life for once.

        LOL. :)

  12. Stone said on March 15, 2022 at 8:17 am
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    Each to his own I guess, personally I only use the grid view. It looks clear and organized. I’m 51 years old, lord of all boomers, I don’t flip things around I want to see everything where it’s at and grid view does just that for me. That card view is like going through vinyls in a music store in 1984. Hated it then, hate it now.

  13. Hatersgonhate said on March 15, 2022 at 8:30 pm
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    The new layout is f**in awful. How do I change back to stacks and not waste time with these stupid grids?

  14. Anonymous said on March 15, 2022 at 10:35 pm
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    terrible update. why is it that every software company “upgrades” their software by removing features

  15. Ari said on March 17, 2022 at 1:12 am
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    I hope we get the cascade tabs back. I’m absolutely hating the new grid style, it gets on my nerves.

  16. Colby said on April 5, 2022 at 10:33 pm
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    Oh God! Why they don’t give us the option change to stacks!? This is the only reason I still use Brave. I guess now I can uninstall it.

  17. Yves said on April 8, 2022 at 12:53 pm
    Reply

    I would be OK with grids if there was not these atrociously stupid groups!!!

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