A new Chrome extension from popular social sharing site Pinterest aims to make the New Tab Page a little more ‘pin-teresting‘.
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Consider that there are millions upon millions of Chrome users around the world, and many of us will open a new tab multiple times a day and you can see there’s potential to do something different.
The Chrome New Tab Page is useful thanks to its central search box and handy links to frequented sites. But is it inspirational? Not quite.
Visual bookmarking service Pinterest thinks it can make the browser’s kick-off page a little niftier. Conceived and created as part of an internal hacking project, they’ve launched ‘Pinterest Tab’ — a new tab replacement for Chrome.
Could this be the New Tab Page you want to keep open?
Pinterest Tab replaces Chrome’s default New Tab Page entirely. You don’t get a search box or a grid of your most visited sites. Instead each new tab shows full-bleed high-resolution imagery pulled in from some of Pinterest’s partners.
The decision to opt for partners and not random pins tagged by the service’s estimated 70 million users is obvious: quality. After installing the extension from the Chrome Web Store you are prompted to choose some from a set of image categories, including cats, photography, travel, architecture, etc.
But there’s a bit more to the add-on than being a picture frame. The page overlays upcoming events from Google Calendar (something it doesn’t ask permission for, tsk!) and offers a snatch of timezone data from Yahoo!
A refresh button is also present on the page in the top right-hand corner. Click this to load a new image from your chosen category. To the left is a ‘+‘ button. Clicking this selects new categories.
Finally, in the lower right-hand corner is information on the image, its author, source and the ability to pin or share the tabbed image publicly.
So far so great, right? Well, not for everyone. A number of Chrome Web Store reviews of the add-on note a few drawbacks.
First, this extensions also comes bundled with the official Pinterest ‘pin it’ button extension. The bad news: this adds a ‘pin it‘ button when hovering over any image online. The good news: it can be disabled easily:
- Right-clicking on the Pinterest toolbar icon
- Selecting ‘options‘
- Checking the ‘Hide hovering Pin It buttons‘ box
Second is concern about the add-on’s resource usage. Even when Chrome is closed or a New Tab Page not in view the extension continues to run in the background with a fairly high demand on system resources.
The more resources chugging away, the shorter the battery life will be on a laptop or Chromebook.
Finally, the extension will (supposedly) show upcoming Google Calendar events but doesn’t offer a way to a) okay this or b) disable it.
Install Pinterest Tab in Chrome
Pinterest Tab is a neat little extension. It can be viewed as a frivolous way to repurpose the New Tab Page for those who don’t use or like the standard setup.
But it’s more than that; it’s an imaginative way to surface content from the site. For Pinterest fans — and there are a lot of them — it’s a must-have.
You can install the extension for free from the Chrome Web Store.