We take immense care while choosing wallpapers for desktop; same should be the case for New tab page of a browser. There are many extensions available at the Chrome Webstore to make your New tab page funky, productive and visually appealing. The chrome team is also trying to give a new look to the New tab page (you will see that feature in one of the next dev releases), if you can’t wait till that release then why not try these cool extensions?
Speed Dial is popular extension which replaces chrome’s New tab page with predefined visual bookmarks.
It has a highly visually appealing design. You can set up to 81 Dials with many combinations of rows and columns. Just enter image URL at the options page to set background image, alternatively you can select a theme. Displays search box and bookmark folders. It Uses Site logos as Speed Dials. Available in many languages like Russian etc. Use Speed Dial plus if you want to sync Dials with your bookmarks. The only disadvantage I found is, it doesn’t show Apps on the New tab page.
Link: Speed Dial
#2. Ultimate New tab
With Ultimate New tab you can view your apps, tabs (which are now opened), bookmarks and history at one place! Unlike Speed Dial you can integrate your favorite theme into the extension (you can either select the .crx file from your computer or load the theme URL). The extension loads the background and colors of the selected theme into the New tab page.
Link: Ultimate New Tab
It’s a simple, intuitive replacement for your chrome, instead of using site thumbnails as Dials, it uses sites’ favicons. Its glossy look (you can select the icon style in settings) makes it different from others. It has a good collection of backgrounds too! You can get your own MyFav.es page like mine www.Myfav.es/Vibin.reddy, just sign into your Google or Facebook or Open ID to get your Personal URL. Like Ultimate New tab it also doesn’t show recently closed tabs which might be a big disadvantage.
(Tip –You don’t need to install the extension to use MyFav.es. You can keep http://www.myfav.es/fast as homepage; this will help you in decreasing memory consumption of chrome)
It helps you to be productive throughout the day, scribble your tasks in the notepad, visualize your bookmarks and installed apps. You can also customize the background, the Flickr photo stream will keep you fresh throughout the day. You can also sync your notepad contents with your Google account using Chrome sync.
Link: Incredible Start Page
#5. Speed Dial 2
Speed Dial and Speed Dial 2 are made by two different developers, so don’t think of Speed Dial 2 as 2nd version of Speed Dial. I should say it better than Speed Dial because you can integrate your Delicious bookmarks (just enter your Delicious username to see your bookmarks in action), Import/export settings, search bookmarks in the side bar and many more. Like MyFav.es there are many Dial styles to choose from.
Link: Speed Dial 2
I remember it’s the first extension that was developed on the idea of “New tab replacement” but certainly it’s not the best! I should say its interface is not that scenic when compared to rest of the extensions. You need to bookmark all the sites which you want to show (create a folder for them) on the Start! Page. If you are a RSS addict then you would definitely love this extension as you can view your favorite feed right from the New tab page!
After reviewing these 6 extensions, I’m damn confused about which one to choose :D! So do you like any of these extensions? Will you customize the New tab page or are you satisfied with the old one? We are eager to hear from you!
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Vibin Reddy. If you would like to write Guest Posts on Devils’ Workshop do look up this link.