23
Aug
Chrome-Thumb

The cool thing about rocking the beta version of a product is getting to experience all the shiny new things before anyone else, and the new tab page currently in the works for the Android version of Google Chrome is the kind of alluring update that makes doing so oh-so-tempting. It reduces the amount of clutter at the top of the screen, places search front and center, lists most visited websites in a single scrollable row, and provides prominent buttons for accessing bookmarks and synced devices at the bottom of the page. In short, this revamp takes the new tab page's usual content and makes it easier to access.

Chrome1 Chrome2 Chrome3

Chrome is a phenomenal mobile browser, but that doesn't mean its UI couldn't benefit from a shakeup. So go ahead, take the new tab page out for a spin. By the time it trickles down to everyone else, you can sit back knowing you test drove it first. Just go to chrome://flags/ and search for "Enable the new NTP." Enable this, hit the "Relaunch Now" button at the bottom, and watch the magic happen.

This setting is nowhere to be found in the stable release, so make sure that you have the beta installed. You can grab it below.

Thanks, Pietari Heino!

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Ed Wilson

    I really like this new design. Good find.

    • Joseph Cascio

      Yeah the new design is much nicer, but I do want to point out that you have to tap the mic icon twice. That is kinda dumb and should be changed.

    • JonJJon

      I know it's not finished but I like having "recently closed" easy to get to and the new design sort of forgets that feature (tried this on the nexus 7 2012 btw)

  • nuke3ae

    ooo I like that

  • Friso Wels

    I would like the bottom of the old one, icons with favorite/history + the top of the new one, google search + most visited

  • TY

    Ironic how the Android design guideline specifically notes that one should not put navigation tabs on the bottom, since this is not iOS.

    • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

      Next time on Android Design Guideline contradictions: A firm look at the G+ app

      • http://zmyaro.com/ Gamer_Z.

        And after that: YouTube.

        • natabbotts

          I think the new youtube follows pretty well doesn't it? (:

          • http://zmyaro.com/ Gamer_Z.

            The new version is definitely better, but there are a couple things that still annoy me:

            A minor issue is the gesture to open the navigation drawer is a horizontal swipe anywhere, not just from the edge. A greater annoyance is the action bar on video pages. None of the icons tell you what they do when you long-press, and the action overflow button opens an overlay on top of your video that has no visual connection to the overflow button.

            But yes, the redesign definitely helped, and I am kind of nitpicking here. Perhaps the new Google Maps app would be a better one to criticize.

          • Elliot Kotis

            Oh and I can't reply to someone!

      • miri

        What in the G+ app is left to fix?

        • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

          Modal Dialogs where the app should handle sending and failure for you

          • AnAndroidUser

            Don't forget the stupid black bar whenever you scroll up. It fits nowhere in Android Guidelines.

    • mikebel3

      Tabs on the bottom are so nice though. Especially on large screen phones.

      • TY

        In fact, when tabbed navigation is used, you're not supposed to touch the tabs; rather, you swipe through the pages. *Cough Touchwiz Cough* .Action buttons can be on the bottom, though.

    • NoBullet

      Guideline does not mean requirement.

      • TY

        it's just ironic since Google write the guideline themselves, but they don't follow it. Not that it kills someone.

        • Jonny

          Or maybe it shows that the rules are meant to be broken.

        • Shinsen

          Expanding on the base guidelines does not equate to 'not following'. Google follows the guidelines as much as most should. People thinking the guidelines are the be-all and end-all of Android design are shortsighted.

  • miri

    It's pretty great. Just need some bug fixes and better tablet support.

    On a side note, clearing data gets rid of the new tab button in the tool bar (I hate it).

  • engray

    Sorry, but could you tell me how to enable new tab button (left to url box, 1&2 picture).
    Thanks :D

    • curtis

      I'd really like to know this too

    • http://zmyaro.com/ Gamer_Z.

      It got enabled by default for me in one of the Chrome Beta updates.

      • engray

        For me too, but unfortunately after next update it disappeared :/

    • CoreRooted

      chrome://flags

      • http://www.android.com/ Jem

        I can't seem to spot the flag I should enable from the list...?

  • http://mobers.org/ psydex

    Well i don't see any difference. Should i activate an option? Yes i'm rocking the beta but looks nothing like the screens above.

    • Crispin Swickard

      If you changed the option it should update after you close, and reload Chrome (Beta).

  • Branimir

    I would like to see recently closed there as well! (now you have to click bookmarks and then it goes to old look, most visited, on the bottom)

  • Paul Troy

    Features are getting better but i still can't do without opera classic.. It's page rendering is more suited for mobile phones.. At moment I'm using both.. There is no one browser that does it all..

    • Kie

      Exactly, no browser I have used can I claim is the best. Really enjoy Maxthon, Boat, and Chrome. All have their pros and cons.

  • Kieron Quinn

    This is the mobile implementation of the Google Now style new tab that appeared in the chrome dev channel a while ago I suspect. It's much nicer than just tiles of pages IMO

  • dextersgenius

    If you are reading this on your phone, just use the link below :

    chrome://flags/#enable-new-ntp

  • http://www.dastardlyreport.com ryaninc

    Holy snot, that looks nice. Really great find, thanks!

  • rstat1

    They had a larger version of this on desktop chrome for a while. Never liked it because it reduced the number of items from history that were shown which made it less useful for me.

  • Gusto

    It broke the"Swipe to next/previous tab" feature..

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    I like it, I also like the animation when you click the search bar. It's still buggy, and when you open the tab view it shows the old new tab interface XD.

  • Kie

    Now if only it would default to this page when I close the last tab

  • LFB

    Theres no browser like AOSP browser...

    Chrome is far away of the stability and compatibility of AOSP Browser.

    Lightweight and so on...

    Prove me Im wrong.

  • Guest

    There was a similar new tab screen on the desktop version of Chrome too, but they ditched it. I liked it, but you can't even seem to enable it from flags.

  • Marcus

    There was a similar new tab screen on the desktop version of Chrome too, but they ditched it. I liked it, but you can't even seem to enable it from flags.

  • Ciccio87

    In my nexus 4 the "+" button (new tab on the left of the omnibox) disappeared... Again!
    In my galaxy nexus is still there...
    Is it possible to re-enable it?

    • http://www.android.com/ Jem

      Ditto, me too. I really want that "+" button left of the omnibox back for a new tab!
      Why did it go away in the first place on my Nexus 5? It's still there on my Galaxy Nexus too...

  • Thomas Steinbrüchel

    Btw. You can now switch tabs by swiping on the navigation bar of chrome (url etc) and not just on the edges of the phone/tablet.

    Check that out!

  • Mungo

    I don't like it. It sacrifices usability and features to push their search engine. Yes, it does look better...but why would you make a simple search box use more than half of the screen? What a waste of space.
    "Recently closed" seems to be gone and "Most visited" is more uncomfortable to use since there are less pages that you can instantly click without having to scroll. I consider both of these features more important on the new tab page than the search bar that you can access at any time from any screen of the browser anyways through the adress bar.

  • Mark

    I want to love Chrome, but hate the way the speed dials are dynamic, change, move around infront of my eyes. On occasion I click it just as it changes it with something else.

    For this reason, I am torn, I love the Opera speed dial, but find tab switching cumbersome and laggy.

    If either of these products fix these problems, then they have me won over as a customer. However I would prefer it to be Opera, as I use Opera on the desktop.

  • ohno

    gotta have flash so will continue to use Puffin. new update is excellent

  • Snarf7

    Does not work for GS3

  • Snarf7

    Does anyone know a list of experiments and what they do somewhere?

  • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael Luik

    It sucks. Opera's Speed Dial FTW any day any time over this.

  • brianzion

    it does not work now after latest beta chrome update 30/08/12

  • larry

    Doesn't work for me on VZW S4 (yes I enabled the flag on beta).

  • Yossi Cohen

    closest to aosp is next browser but non beat aosp!
    they should add chrome features to aosp and rebrand it...

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