Chrome Gets Prettier With Redesigned App Store and New Tab Page


Google today updated the stable version of Chrome and introduced its redesigned New Tab page to those mainstream users who are not using the more cutting-edge release channels Google offers for its browser. In addition, Google also launched a redesigned app store for Chrome, which now features large images instead of the small icons that previously dominated the homepage.

New New Tab Page

The new New Tab page doesn’t come as a surprise to those who have been using Google’s Beta, Dev or Canary builds over the last few weeks. Whenever you open a new tab now, Google will show you thumbnails of your most often visited sites. You can also navigate to your apps from there as well. It’s worth noting that the early release channels of Chrome also feature a bookmark tab on the New Tab pages (though it isn’t functional right now). The New Tab page also allows you to reopen tabs you recently closed.

Redesigned Chrome Web Store

As for the Chrome Web Store, the changes are quite dramatic. The earlier version was a jumble of icons, ratings and different categories (you can still see it if you visit the site with Internet Explorer, Opera or Firefox). This new version is basically one large wall of images. As you scroll over the images, the thumnails flip over and a description of the app appears.

Discoverability in app stores has long been a major problem for developers and it remains to be seen if this new version of the Chrome Web Store will make things easier for developers. At first glance, it would seem the new layout will reward those apps that have flashy logos and screenshots, as the homepages for the various categories look like they are curated by Google.

Chrome Web Store

Chrome Web Store new feedly

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Google Launches New Extension to Highlight Related Sites


Google just launched Google Related, a new Chrome extension and Google Toolbar feature that aims to make it easier for you to “discover useful stuff while you browse.” Once installed, the extension pops up a new toolbar at the bottom of your browser window with links to related sites. When you are reading a new article, for example, will show you relevant articles from other sources about this topic. On local business sites, on the other hand, Related will show reviews and a map, as well as links to similar restaurants. There is also a built-in +1 button on the toolbar.

The extension actually works surprisingly well. Virtually all of the articles and videos it highlights are indeed related to the original story and often offer a more in-depth view of a story or a counterpoint to an opinion piece.


To do this, Google obviously has to track where you are going online. Every time you visit a site while the plugin is active, Related will send “the URL of the web site, your machine’s IP address, and one or more Google cookies” to Google’s servers. Once you disable the extension, this data won’t be send to Google anymore (though it will probably remain on its servers for a while afterwards).


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