The New Tab page in Chrome, or in any other browser for that matter, is a very important page. Google redesigned this page in Chrome only a few updates ago and Firefox has also made some changes, albeit subtle ones to its new tab page. So, if the developers of these amazing browsers rethink the new tab page, it only stands to reason that developers and users alike will have an opinion on what they want or don’t want, hence the very healthy list of extensions in the Chrome Web Store that look to make the new tab page better. We have our own list of amazing extensions for modifying the new tab page. Shader – 3D New Tab is an extension that overhauls the new tab page giving it a seemingly 3D background. It’s very clean and focuses on giving you essential information only. You get the date and time, a direct link to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and Github, and a search bar. The extension has eight themes for you to choose from and it is surprisingly fast considering the background is animated.
All you need to get the new tab up and running is to install the extension. There are literally no settings to manage and only themes that you choose between. The time is in 24 hour format and there is, sadly, no way to change it to the 12 hour format. The new tab page greets you with a friendly message to let you know whether it’s morning or afternoon, or evening. The date appears just below it. Chromium users might actually love this more than Windows or Mac users. The Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc buttons appear below the search bar and you might have to scroll down a bit to see them.
To change the theme, click the pencil button at the left and select from one of the eight themes that appear in the slide-out panel.
Visually, the new tab page looks great. Speed Dial is of course no longer available but if you install this extension you make a conscious decision to live without Speed Dial anyway. There are only two shortcomings that I see with this extension; users shouldn’t have to scroll down to see the links to Facebook, Twitter and other sites. There should be a way to change the date format to 12 hours. The extension is new so we can hope for these small fixes in a future version.