October 1, 2022


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Chrome Tests Replace New Tab Page Site Grid with a Round Key

Due to the very large user base, Google Frequently hesitated To make major changes to Chrome. The Android browser is experimenting with different New Tab page designs and the latest one is seeing Chrome adopt a circle to display sites you’ve recently visited.

The new Chrome page on Android has always consisted of the Google logo, an omnibox for searching for entering a URL, and shortcuts to recently visited sites. Favourites are used and have been historically arranged in a 4×2 grid.

Google is now testing a circular layout of up to 12 pages, but you only see 4-5 in one go, as opposed to 8. As such, you have to scroll and tap against being able to do the latter. This section is no longer long as a result, marginally informing the Discover and Follow/RSS feed.

This change is due to a previous Chrome redesign attempt that would have Big fix new tab page. Besides the carousel of recently visited sites, there would have been another “Continue Browsing” carousel that showed open tabs and replaced the Tab Grid. This design wasn’t widely rolled out, but it was blatant to break Chrome’s navigation paradigm and significantly raise NTP above the tab switch.

In recent months, Google has played down this design, but the carousel has clearly resurfaced. It’s not the biggest change, but one that adds unnecessary horizontal scrolling and makes the new tab page not so quick to interact with.

This library on the new tab page hasn’t been rolled out widely to all users, but it’s starting to show up on more of my devices (Chrome 102 stable) during the Weekend.

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