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
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.
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.
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.
Install Spots for Google Chrome
Spots is a free add-on, available from the usual place.