It's been a few months since Google accidentally left the Stars bookmark management extension visible in the Chrome App Store. We had been hearing about the development of Stars for some time before that, so its appearance was not entirely surprising. However, Mountain View removed the listing and didn't mention Stars at I/O this year. Now Florian Kiersch has gotten a look at the updated version of Stars. It's clear Google is still making improvements to the service, but it's definitely not done yet.

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The idea behind Stars is that it will serve as a replacement to locally stored and synced bookmarks. Your Google account would simply contain all your links, making them accessible for anywhere. Stars will reportedly also be able to automatically organize bookmarks and perform advanced searches that reach out into the text of saved pages. It's supposed to do plenty of other things, but you can check out our past posts on it for the full scoop.

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google-stars-desktop-folders google-stars-desktop-list-view

The important thing today is that Stars is shaping up nicely based on some updated internal dogfooding screens. Filters are now called Auto Folders in Stars, and the mobile view is much nicer—it has a vaguely material flair. The desktop version also has a cleaned up list view. Kiersch says it still doesn't seem ready for release, so it's anyone's guess when it'll finally be done.

[+Florian Kiersch]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Taylor00


  • Miguel Ripoll

    I'ts hard to see what Google is trying to do here, using a bookmark service that needs to be installed using a ad-don isn't the way to get lot of people using it. (If that's what they want) They could create a social one like Pinterest with a public API, just saying...

    • Daniel Traynor


    • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

      "OK Google" hotword detention was initially a Chrome extension, but it's since been rolled into the browser. Like this, I would assume Stars might start out as an extension, only to replace the bookmark manager in time.

      • Miguel Ripoll

        You're right, but it needs more features. Also, the hot-word detection is completely annoying! I turned on this feature for a while, if you are listening to music, every time you open a new tab it mutes the sound.

        • Dale Frewaldt

          How many more features does it need to replace the rather simple bookmark manager currently in operation? Seems like Stars is already outpacing the functionality of Chrome's bookmarks already.

          • Miguel Ripoll

            I'd say to be social as Pinterest, but I don't really care. As you are saying, this is useless at the moment seeing this pictures.

        • Roh_Mish

          i too have hot-word detection. My music keeps playing.

    • herbivoor

      Maybe this could be useful for Iphone users?

      • Miguel Ripoll

        How? Bookmarks are already synced using the cloud. This service only shows your bookmarks with a cards design. You can already create folders & search your bookmarks in Chrome. I find it useless IMO.

        • Allen Tanguay

          It's not useless, there is no bookmark manager in Chrome for Android. I do not want to boot up my PC for the first time in three years just to organize bookmarks.

          They should just add it to Chrome like a normal company, but this is good enough. And auto organizing bookmarks is a huge plus.

        • herbivoor

          AFAIK, Safari, the standard iPhone browser, can't sync bookmarks with Chrome so I could see a use for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danieltye88 Tungmeister

    I haven't really used bookmarks in years, it takes such little effort to type a few characters to get the auto complete prompt I want but I'll still give this a look when it shows up

  • Fred Gissubel

    I've been using the desktop stars for awhile now and love it. can't wait for mobile

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    Have been running it, and still am running it in Chrome and have still not found any use for it whatsoever.

    Pretty much all I see is bookmarks with pretty images, there is absolutely nothing more to it.

    You can also just sync your bookmarks by logging into Chrome and set up your bookmarks in EXACTLY the same way, only without the pretty pictures.

    • http://www.electronicalmonocle.com dave birney (monoelectron)

      if pictures were the only update with this i would be happy with it. its what ive been looking for since for ever. it might be just my brain but i really dont like having to scan lines and lines of bookmark text to find stuff i saved. i think its helps having any picture with them, pretty or not

  • http://dietrichduke.com/ Dietrich Duke

    Didn't they have this in Google Bookmarks for the old toolbar way back when?

  • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

    Having used this I can also attest to the fact that it's pointless. The awesome bar already searches bookmarks, and Stars doesn't have any support for tags which seems hilariously backwards.

  • Jonathan Litwinka

    Went to redownload the extension and try it out again and I'm finding it now impossible to do so. Every time I try to sideload it the extensions page gets an alert saying "empty dictionary for 'chrome_settings_overrides'" Is anyone else having this problem?

    • Bassam

      Same here

  • blindexecutioner

    Going to be tough for me to give up xmarks. We'll see. Profiles and backup are two things I need that xmarks has.

  • jaxbot

    This would be so amazing, I love bookmarking things but I tend to lose them unless I maintain and organize them. Would be eons better if it were just a streamlined process.

  • Steve Freeman

    How about letting us have more than one bookmark, or even Chrome profile? I log into Chrome on my work laptop, home PC's, and Android devices. But I don't want some of my personal bookmarks showing up on my work laptop, so I had to disable MOST of the synced features. And I would like to have my work bookmarks synced to the Google servers for backup purposes.

    And I really don't want my recent pages list to show on my laptop...if I open a new page when my boss is standing behind me, and it shows a bunch of gaming websites, well, that wouldn't be so good. Just because I know they're only showing up because of what I visit at home, doesn't mean he'll necessarily know that. I've had to resort to using New Tab Redirect to completely do away with the Recent view.

    • Jordi Ebbing

      You know you can have multiple users within chrome right?

  • Adrian Meredith


  • 6 one way half a dozen another

    Seems like it will use a lot of extra data just to keep those mostly unnecessary images displayed, not to mention the sprawling card format. I'm perfectly happy with my desktop bookmarks, which I do keep organized, and have no desire to see twenty lines on one page become three or four scrolls just because of the cards.
    As for the sharing, I already have plenty of ways to share, even if it isn't as "frictionless".

  • xdigi

    And still no way to tag things? Seriously? Come on, Google. From what I saw of Stars, it looks pretty useless. Just a different theme for the current Chrome bookmarking system (which sucks, btw) with giant icons.

  • Ben

    In my experience, the Google Stars bookmark manager is seriously lacking.

    http://www.panafold.com has a beautiful & powerful bookmark service which I think will surpass Google Bookmark Manager in the long run. You can sign up at http://www.panafold.com for early beta access.