Google’s home screen doesn’t change often, but the company often tests minor details of it and tweaks as it sees fit — different colors for the top menu bar, which is currently black, and even rearranging the items contained in that list.
Now the company is trying what is, perhaps, one of its most prolific changes, though most you will not spot this when you visit the homepage. Many of the companies experiments are only rolled out to few select visitors in an effort to gauge reaction and monitor how the interface is used.
However, there are generally ways to get around this and add yourself as a lab rat for the search giant. This latest interface is no exception, but figuring out to enable it is rather difficult. These things are not exactly straight-forward.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a difficult task to pull off, but also not anything obvious that will be jumping out at you, so instructions are in order here.
Here is How to Get Started
For purposes of this post we are using Chrome as the web browser, but the process is browser agnostic. Head to the Google home page and click Ctrl-Shift-J to bring up the Developer Console. This is a feature present in all major web browsers, including Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer, though each provides a different path for accessing it.
Click to add a new line of code and then copy and paste the following into the console:
document.cookie=”PREF=ID=e66a207a51ceefd8:U=936bafc98b2a9121:FF=0:LD=en:NR=10:CR=2:TM=1378808351:LM=1379592992:SG=1:S=OXyq0fqClYB66VuV ; path=/; domain=google.com”;window.location.reload();
Hit Enter and then reload the Google home page. You should be prompted with a message that tells you “Welcome to the new way to find your favorite Google products”.
Once you OK the message, you will find a new menu — the black bar across the top of the screen is gone, replaced by a drop-down box filled with icons.
The most popular of the Google properties are included, meaning Gmail, Play, Calendar, Maps, News, Search and YouTube are all right here in front of you. The rest are included in the “More” option.
There is no guarantee this interface will continue to work, as for now it is simply an experiment. Don’t be surprised if it goes away tomorrow or next week, but for now you can help Google test it and the new look has a lot going for it. What do you think of the look? Let us know in the comments below.