Chrome's new-tab page gets more interactive  

Posted by dhamotharan in , ,

Opening a new tab in a browser is a moment ripe with opportunity, and Google has begun testing a version of Chrome that can present new options when users do so.

Chrome's current new-tab interface, which also shows by default when the browser is first launched, displays a three-by-three array of thumbnails of the most commonly visited Web sites. It also sports a history search box, a list of recent bookmarks, and a list of recently closed tabs. That changes in Chrome, a developer preview version released Monday.

The new layout, though, features a thumbnail grid four wide and two down, placing lists of closed tabs and recent downloads in a "recent activities" section below and offering an area for "tips and suggestions" next to it. This instructional section probably makes sense, given that Chrome is somewhat alien to most users, but so far it doesn't show any actual tips or suggestions.

Also new is the ability to delete specific thumbnails with a close box, pin them so they're permanently shown, and reorder them using a drag-and-drop interface. Chrome users also can opt to show Web pages in as a list rather than as thumbnails, and they can hide either the "recent activities" or "tips and suggestions" boxes.

The new-tab page historically has been left empty, but now browser makers see it as prime real estate for prompting users with ideas for what they might want to do or offering them what they might need.

The new new-tab view isn't available by default in Chrome. To use it, launch Chrome with the "--new-new-tab-page" command-line option.

The new version also fixes some issues with printing on Windows and with animated GIFs, according to Chrome Engineering Program Manager Jonathan Conradt.

This entry was posted on 7/8/09 at 5:15 PM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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