Changes 24 Feb 2014
For many years my preferences was to open a new browser window as a blank tab. In the last few years my employers have been heavy subscribers to Google’s suite of tools. I switched to Chrome as my full-time browser during one of Safari’s particularly low periods. With the proliferation of extensions that tie into various web services I’ve gradually come to lean on the app view as my new default tab behavior. Until now.
Pretty straightforward. Big buttons to take me places. The Omnibar has focus for searches or URL.
WTF? Giant logo in case I forgot. Another searchbox. Recent sites that almost never contain the one I want right now, and if it is, it’s in a different place than last time. Apps are hidden in that little grid. No, not that one, the other one. The one that has displaced my Fitt’s Law surfing menu of frequently used tools.
When this change first rolled out you could override it by digging into Chrome Flags and unchecking a box. The latest update to Chrome removes this option.
If this is annoying you to, you might try New Tab Redirect! which will let you set an arbitrary page to be your default new tab. You can get back the old apps tiles by pointing it at
chrome://apps/. It has a downside: The Omnibar has focus, but it’s not empty. So you have to select back (⌘-⇧-⇐) before typing.
Apparently I’m not alone in my grumpiness about removed features.