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Spots – A Chrome New Tab Page With Tight Android Integration

spot new tab page running in chrome

With the recent retirement of the “old” New Tab Page in Google Chrome being greeted less enthusiasm than the recent revival of Heroes, chances are many of you will be on the hunt for a replacement.

‘Spots’ is an alternative new tab page for Chrome with a striking design and some neat little features.

One of its chief draws is support for relaying Android notifications on the new tab page.

The ‘New Tab’ Basics Covered

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Spot Sports Slick Animations

The bulk of Spots is made up of links displayed in attractive rectangular tiles.

Your “most visited” websites, the amount of which can be configured from the settings dialog, appear first, while a list of ‘recommended’ links to popular sites sits below them.

This latter list, along with others you choose to create, can be renamed, reconfigured and have additional links added. If the default ‘two letter’ circular icons that appear next to each link aren’t to your taste, registering for a free Spots account allows you to customise them with your own images.

Visually Spots is impressive. The animation when hovering over a tile is particularly cute, though most websites seem to lack thumbnail support.

Also available are quick access to installed apps and recently closed tabs and a raft of customisation options.

Powerful Annoyance

Power Search Drawer

Power Search Drawer

The idea behind the ‘Power Search’ feature is neat: it aims to let you access contacts, websites and apps from any page without having to open a new tab.

The reality is less forgiving as the pesky coloured ‘handle’ that appears to the left of all websites at all times fast gets annoying.

Thankfully it can be disabled through the Spots Settings dialog.

Android Notifications

But none the above is the ‘big sell’ of Spots. That lure falls to the promise of tight Android integration support.

When Spots is installed on Chrome and your Android device, and the same Google account is used in both, the new page can be used to search your contacts, send and receive SMS notifications in the browser, and be alerted to any incoming phone calls.

Features In Brief

  • Time & Weather information 
  • ‘Power Search’ drawer accessible from any website
  • Wide range of customisation options
  • Option to adjust, add and group links into categories
  • Quick links to ‘Apps’ and ‘Recently Closed’
  • Android integration 

Drawbacks of Spots on Chrome

The permissions required by Spots are pretty invasive, extending to pretty much every area possible. From wanting to access your data on all webpages and modify your browsing history to seeking management of your apps, add-ons and themes.

Spots new tab page permissions

Install Spots for Google Chrome

Spots is a free add-on, available from the usual place.

Install Spots from the Chrome Web Store

  • http://NathanBrauer.com Nathan J. Brauer

    Why hello, fuchsia!

  • Peter Frazier

    wow.. this is crazy.. now i have 3 diff ways to text from my phone.. just a couple months ago and it was more a hack to get that done..

  • Тарас Мукин

    Is there a new tab page, where apps and websites is the same an all of them can be on one page in one grid?

    • Chuck Cortes

      Try awesome new tab. Its my favorite chrome extension.

  • Curtis Mitchell

    Man, this would help me quite a bit. Right now I use Momentum, Pushbullet, and Verizon Messages to achieve what this app brings to the table.

  • Kenny Strawn

    I’m surprised no one has come out with an extension that will put Android notifications in Chrome’s very message center that Google Now cards are in… At least in that case, Chrome OS would be no more different from Android than OS X is from iOS…

    • Christopher Mason

      Pushbullet.

  • Robert Trance

    Using it and love it, also on my Nexus 5 and desktop

  • shoryumike

    OT: may I know the name of the theme showing the cat on the upper-right side? Thank you so much!

    • Sam Tran

      It’s part of Chrome’s Users feature. If you head to Chrome’s Settings, look for the “Users” section near the bottom, click “Add new user…” and you’ll be prompted to choose an emoticon (like a cute cat :3) for your new profile.

      • shoryumike

        Oh, thanks! I thought it was a theme. Meh, I’m a newbie T_T

  • Team SPOTS

    Joey, thanks for taking the time to try out SPOTS and writing up this great review.

    We love constructive feedback and we’ll definitely invest some time and thoughts into improving the Power Search feature, it’s going to be awesome, you’ll see… :)

    With regards to the permissions, we know that they might seem invasive, but non of the data is sent to the servers and it is only used to make all the data accessible in the New Tab page and the power search. We are very sensitive to users’ privacy and, as mentioned in our Privacy Policy, “We do not rent, sell, or share your Personal Information with any third-parties…” and do not intend to do so.

    We’d love to get any feedback and keep on improving the product.

    Thanks again,
    Sagi @ SPOTS