Google’s Experimental “Chrome Home” gets a Redesigned New Tab Page

Tuesday

Google is constantly at work bringing new features to the most popular Internet browser in the world – Chrome. Although most new features take weeks or even months before ever getting into the hands of most users, it’s possible to try out new features by enabling certain experimental flags in chrome://flags. One such feature, known as “Chrome Home”, is a visual overhaul of Chrome’s user interface. When the flag is enabled, the address bar moves to the bottom of the screen.

Over time, Google has updated Chrome Home with more enhancements. Most notably, the feature now offers quick access to recently opened webpages, downloads, bookmarks, and your browsing history. As it is right now, the experimental Chrome Home interface has become my default setup. And thanks to a recent change to the way new tab pages are displayed, my choice is solidified.

The main difference with this change is that opening a new tab now overlays on top of the existing tabs. This essentially turns the new tab page interface into a card carousel much like the interface looks without Chrome Home enabled.

This change has only recently rolled out in the Chrome Canary builds. You can activate it by first enabling the Chrome Home flag then enabling the Chrome Home NTP Redesign flag.

chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-home
chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-home-ntp-design

This change won’t remain an experiment much longer, however, as the most recent nightly build of Chromium for Android includes the Chrome Home NTP Redesign enabled by default (and actually removes the flag from chrome://flags).


Recommended Reading: XDA Spotlight: Living on the Bleeding Edge with Chromium Auto Updater


Lastly, you may have noticed that there’s another new flag in the screenshot above. The Chrome Home Expand Button is a very minor change as all it adds is an icon to the address bar that, when pressed, expands the bottom bar. This may be useful if you are using the browser one-handed and would prefer not having to swipe up to access the address bar.

chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-home-expand-button

Those are some of the notable changes that are now present in alpha builds of the Chrome browser. We’ll keep a lookout for any more interesting Chrome flags that make their way into Google’s popular Internet browser.

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