I use layers. so game still runs in background no problem. Each layer is a new tab. I use it for my settings, options, screens etc. When they switch to those tabs it sets game layer visibility to 15 - 30% depending and puts layers visibility to 90 - 100%.
So you never change layouts unless you want to.
Obviously, I don't understand what you mean by tabs. But you can cycle layers without stopping game flow. Game is built upon layers after all.