Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chrome's new New Tab Page

Edit: apparently this is just news to me. There was a blog post about the OS X Chrome App Launcher back in September. It is still interesting that the launcher promo was in a hidden div tag on the now defunct newtab page.

So the only way I could get Chrome to allow me to access the old "new tab page" was through an internal extension call. Typing chrome-internal://newtab into the address bar simply triggers a search for that term. But on that page I was looking at the source to get the internal sources for some image files to customize the iOS 7 New Tab Page extension when I noticed a hidden div that looked interesting...

<div id="app-launcher-promo" hidden>

Remove that hidden attribute and you get this little gem.

Following the "Learn more" link quietly (really no downloads or installs etc.) adds an application drawer to the OS X dock. This is all you see in the browser, and note that there are no links to download or install anything.

I am using Chrome Canary which explains why the icon is all yellow.

I still don't like that they removed the ability to disable the to disable the Instant Extended API or as I like to call it the wasted clicks page, but having the app drawer will mitigate the issues on my laptop for a while. I am not sure that this will work on my Ubuntu desktop. This does not work on Linux, and you just get redirected to the chrome web store. This is a shame since I spend a lot of time working on my Linux desktop.

On a side note the iOS 7 New Tab Page is interesting, but I am not a fan of iOS, there are some extensions that it fails to open and the bookmarks bar is missing. Also it is a little cheesy at points - the fake wifi signal and battery indicators...