If your default browser is Google Chrome, then you would know what a boring sight the Google front page is. Sure, it gives you all your most frequented websites, but why stick with that when your “about:blank” could be so much more?
Here are 10 Google Chrome Start Page Extensions that you need to have to sex up the first tab of the day.
For connected individuals, Onefeed is the start page for you. Not only does it provide a shortcut to your favourite websites, it also consolidates all the updates you want to see — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Gmail, for instance — into a single feed. It also has a search bar across the top of each tab to search through your documents, contacts, and even cloud services, like Dropbox or Google Drive.
If you don’t want the clutter of all your recently visited pages, you can put them into a separate folder or bookmark them instantly. It is pretty much like having an organiser in a single blank page — not bad for a new tab.
Currently is an extension that is simple but gorgeous. You wouldn’t expect much from a blank tab that just tells you the time and weather, but the variety of themes available gives you great freedom to customise as you wish. You could go for the wide range of solid colour options, pick a custom colour if you want to be really specific, or even choose to have colours that change according to time or temperature.
My favourite? The starry night option, animated to twinkle like the clear night sky.
3. Earth View
Everyone loves Google Earth View, but randomised Google Earth Views are even better. Every tab that you open will generate a completely random Google Earth View from anywhere in the world — from the deltas of Argentina, the coasts of Italy, to the city streets in San Fransisco.
Chances are you’ll be opening a million page tabs just to catch a new glimpse of the world — congratulations! You’re just a few more tabs away from developing chronic wanderlust.
If you’re a fan of the quirky and bright designs that Android is known for, then Spots is a great start page to use. The page is a dashboard for everything Google: it arranges your frequently visited pages in tiles that swipe up to show you a quick preview of the page as you scroll over, and organises any apps you’ve installed into Chrome into a simple drop-down list to connect to. It even recommends you new websites or apps from the Google Play store based on your history.
But what’s truly useful is that Spots will allow you to connect your Android mobile device to your computer, just by downloading the app on your mobile device. This means you’ll be able to send and receive SMS-es within your browser, and get alerts when you have incoming phone calls.
Every now and then, we just need a bit of inspiration. And what better way than to start the day with a great view and wise words to push us along?
Momentum is the start page that wants you to be as productive as possible. It greets you by name every day, and by prompting you to set a major goal for the day, it keeps you on point all day long. You can even incorporate your To Do List of the day to be accessible from a pop-up bar. Those gorgeous photos don’t hurt, either.
Weather, Gmail, Top Sites, Feeds, Google Calendar, Apps — you name it, Start! has it. It’s a start page that allows you to drag, arrange, and organise every widget you want, exactly the way you want to — it’s quite possibly the most flexible start page on this list.
If you want to be on the ball on anything from Stock Tickers to Uber wait times, it’s got it. If you just want somewhere to check your Facebook and Twitter updates, it’s already there. And all with an amazing customisable background of your choosing. Start! is the start page chameleon of many colours. I mean, imagine checking up on Reddit with this view:
This may not be the sexiest start page, but the layout is enough to make you want to download it right now. The wood-based page features all the Google Chrome Apps you have, along with a notifications bar for everything from tweets and Facebook messages, to emails.
Best of all — that Quick Notes bar. Think of how you used to tack Post-it notes onto your computer screen. This is better.
Fruumo looks so pretty, it even made a video that Apple would be proud of. The Fruumo design is simple, fuss-free, and even has that translucent design for each frequently visited page that will suit any background you set.
Aside from updates on the weather, time, recently closed tabs, and Facebook, you can also access a voice assistant and a search box that looks through your bookmarks and apps to find the website/tool you’re looking for. You can even check out the full five-day forecast, if that’s something you’re dying to have on your start page.
10. Speed Dial 2
Sometimes, simple is still better. Speed Dial 2 is the extension that was made based on that belief. Without any fancy designs, the sexiness of this Chrome extension comes from its bare minimalism — every bookmarked website or app is represented by a nice card, and everything is laid out as cleanly as possible.
It even syncs with your mobile devices, so that you can get to all your favourite websites wherever you go.