Ever since Google introduced its Chrome web browser, and got the world used to a rapid release cycle, we have become accustomed to ever-changing software — sometimes not always for the best, or at least not so in individual perception. One aspect of the browser that has changed little, though, is the New Tab page — a constant display of the eight most visited pages in your recent history, with options for apps and the Chrome Web Store.
Now Google is in the process of rolling out a new version of the New Tab page, which is slowly reaching all users and bringing with it a slightly different look and improved functionality.
Customers will be alerted to the change at some point upon visitation of the page, as a box will pop up showing the details of what is included in this revamped offering.
As you can see in the image above, there is quite a bit to soak in — search, apps, tabs…its all been changed, but not as drastically as that may sound.
The most prominent feature is the new Search bar that now appears on the page, allowing the user to access the option directly, though this is less a big deal than it sounds, as the omnibar provided this already.
However, there is more contained in this update than just a prominent search feature. For one, customers will now be able to see the Google Doodle (if there is one) on the page — a feature once reserved only for the home page and, more recently, Google Now mobile customers.
The new version of the menu has also arrived. Gone is the old black bar that displayed Google properties across the top of the screen, replaced by a nine block grid icon near the top right. Click it for access the most popular sites like Gmail, Maps and more.
The biggest addition is perhaps access to recently closed tabs — a process once difficult in Chrome without using a third-party extension such as Recycle Bin.
Now you can click Settings, head down to Recent Tabs, and you will not only find the tabs you have recently closed on your current device, but also those from other computers, as well as phones and tablets.
While Google has shrunk the size of your most visited sites, these are still present, and the additional access, including search and the Doodle is a welcome addition. Perhaps even more important is the new tab access that brings much needed functionality to the web browser.