Chrome’s default New Tab page isn’t all that popular due to its rather limited set of options. A Google Search bar, and a few recently visited websites is all you find when you fire up Chrome. Fortunately, there are a lot of third-party extensions in the Chrome Web Store that let you customize it with ease. We’ve covered a bunch of great New Tab page Chrome extensions for our readers in the past, StartHQ, Momentum and iOS 7 Home being a few notable ones among them. In case you are looking for yet another option, try iChrome. This feature-packed extension transforms the New Tab page into a clean grid of information inspired from Google Now.
In contrast to what its name may have you think, iChrome doesn’t take inspiration from any iOS feature. Instead, it goes for bringing a Google Now-like card-based UI to Chrome’s New Tab Page, arranged in grid in order to keep the most useful bits of information and tools always accessible to you. The available components include a Google search bar, weather card, shortcuts for Google services like Chrome Web Store, Search, YouTube, Google Drive, Gmail and Google Docs, WolframAlpha, as well as a News feed. The background theme is customizable, and the extension comes packaged with a bunch of themes out the box.
When it comes to the Search bar, you get a Mic. button for voice commands so you may talk to your computer in a manner similar to Google Now on mobile. iChrome also keeps a list of your most recently visited websites for quick access later.
Some of the widgets are also customizable; all you need to do is click the minuscule gear button that pops up upon hovering the cursor over a widget, after which any pertaining configuration settings are revealed. For instance, the News widget displays news stories from Google News by default, but you can personalize it with any custom website or news service of your choice by specifying a custom RSS feed link.
Likewise, you can customize the weather and recently visited websites grids via their own set of options. Another interesting bit is that you can drag and reposition the widgets arrangement.
iChrome also earn a few points for its customization options. The Background tab in Settings includes the ability to modify the theme with a custom background image. You can alternatively click ‘Load a theme’ and select from several already available options. In addition to the background image, you can choose a different background color by specifying a custom HEX code, and alter position, scaling, repeat and style parameters of the image via drop down menus. The Layout tab, on the other hand, lets you modify the widgets alignment, and customize the search URL for the search bar.
iChrome works on all latest stable releases of Google Chrome.