Tuesday June 25, 2019

One amazing thing in Chrome is that to this day it doesn’t have any well-looking Speed Dial page. Although there are plenty of Chrome plug-ins compensating this matter - it’s a shame that there is no native feature for this.

For a long time I’ve been using Speed Dial 2 - which was the only Speed Dial extension I’ve found fitting my taste (especially given its ability to customize website thumbnails appearance to a pretty neat degree). But since I’ve switched to Chrome Canary, issues have arrived: the plug-in crashes from time to time and requires to be fixed. Although Chrome can fix such failures, an irritating thing is that they never have stopped to occur.

You could point out that the extension I’ve been using has its own in-built backup/restore feature - but it isn’t handy, requiring to copy&paste some code every time You need to fix the thing.

Finally all of this inspired me to look for another (possibly better) solution. Did I find such one? Not exactly, but I’ve decided to change my habits anyway. The research has lead me to the Infinity New Tab - an interesting approach to the Speed Dial.

My Infinity New Tab within Chrome Canary.

First of all, what You might find surprising here is that there are no website thumbnails (!). That’s the only lack I miss - a serious one. Fortunately the extension allows You to set Your Own pictures for each site - which may be an attractive solution, especially given that those pics may be much more readable than standard so-called favicons (thanks to those pictures the whole thing finally became much more intuitive and easier to use).

Besides, there is a handful of nice characteristics, let’s see:

  1. Intuitiveness. The thing has especially enchanted me by the way it acts during the edit mode (once You right-click on any circle). I admire the intuitiveness: You instantaneously know how to remove, edit, or reposition an item.
  2. Fancy and aesthetic animations. Every time You open a new tab, all Your circles may be nicely animated - which makes the whole web-browsing a more pleasant experience.
  3. Customization. You can adjust several things to make the whole Speed Dial looking more in Your particular taste. Circle colors, transparency, size, positioning within the grid... it might be enough to be pleased if they would incorporate a website thumbnails.
    On top of that You have built-in random wallpapers, with a fancy windmill icon on the bottom right to switch to the brand new wallpaper every time You feel like to change it :) (You can also use Your Own pic if You wish).
  4. Better backup/restore. Compared to the previous Speed Dial I used to use, Infinity New Tab allows You to backup and restore itself much easier: You don’t need to copy&paste any code - instead, just point out where the backup file is located. A drawback worth to mention, however, is that the backup doesn’t cover all the extension settings (for example, it doesn’t remember what local wallpaper You’ve used, or circle size You prefer).
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