While I have been harping about the tremendous performance enhancements made by Firefox, Chrome continues to be in a league of its own with some really cool features. The most prominent one personally, being Chrome Extensions. This time around I came across an interesting extension, New Tab Feeder which serves as an excellent replacement to Chrome’s default new tab page.
All the modern browsers now sport some sort of speed dial implementation. Chrome goes a step ahead including web apps and lets you even pin your favourite sites across multiple pages. While this is all pretty neat, New Tab Feeder takes the new tab page of Chrome to a crazy new level, bringing Instagram feeds as a background instead of the plain white or insert-your-theme-here background when you open the new tab page.
A Quick Run-through of Features
Easily the outstanding feature of the extension, New Tab Feeder lets you set Instagram feeds as your background for new tab page with support for a variety of trends. It even lets you to select your own Instagram feeds as well. You can shuffle Instagram feeds via the button at the rightmost corner of the new tab page. The coolest part is where you can click on individual images in the Instagram feed and open it directly from Chrome.
News Ticker Updates
If you are a news junkie you are going to love this. New Tab Feeder lets you get ticker updates on bottom of your new tab page for a variety of news sources. New Tab Feeder supports news sources from 10 countries apart from a “featured” news section. You can click the news tab to glance all the updates as well.
Apart from these cool features , New Tab Feeder also includes following functionalities
- Customisable Speed Dial with either static logos or thumbnails.
- Smart Search equipped with inbuilt Google translation
- Ability to share your new tab page screenshot on Facebook and Twitter.
- Tabs for your web apps and news headlines
- Easy access to your closed tabs in a click.
Installation and Quick Setup
New Tab Feeder is in nascent stages of development, and the developer promises a lot new features in the future updates like Twitter and Facebook feeds and notifications. For now, you can enjoy Instagram feeds on your new tab page with this cool extension.
After installing the extension , New Tab Feeder requires you to setup news feeds and Instagram feature feeds, which hardly takes more than a few clicks. There are a lot of news sources to clutter your news feed. I personally would rather expect to find a category wise news feed though. You can also set your background plain, without any Instagram feed at all, which rather would, honestly, kill the utility of the extension.
Quirks and Conclusion
Despite the fantastic concept and near flawless implementation of Instagram feeds’ thumbnails on your new tab page, New Tab Feeder has to iron out a lot of kinks, which I would like the developer to take note of:
- The UI is very sluggish, and I found myself clicking multiple times in vain to open settings or to shuffle the Instagram feed
- News Feeds seems to be disappearing randomly at times and would not appear even after restarting Chrome.
- The “Share Your Screen” i.e the new tab feeder screenshot sharing option failed to work on my laptop.
I really hope these issues are fixed by the next build. These are just the minor annoyances which hamper the otherwise excellent replacement for the Chrome’s new tab page.