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Chrome GUI Upgrades

Chrome 33 Nixes Option To Fall Back To Old 'New Tab' Page 125

Posted by timothy
from the put-it-on-my-ta-hey-waittaminute dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On Friday, Chrome 33 was shipped out the everyone on the stable channel. Among other things, it removes the developer flag to disable the "Instant Extended API", which powers an updated New Tab page. The new New Tab page receieved a large amount of backlash from users, particularly due to strange behavior when Google wasn't set as the default search engine. It also moves the apps section to a separate page and puts the button to reopen recently closed tabs in the Chrome menu. With the option to disable this change removed, there has been tremendous backlash on Google Chrome's official forum. The official suggestion from Google as well as OMG! Chrome is to try some New Tab page changing extensions, such as Replace New Tab, Modern New Tab Page, or iChrome."
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Chrome 33 Nixes Option To Fall Back To Old 'New Tab' Page

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  • I think that Chrome seems fine ...
    • Re:Chrome (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @07:16PM (#46313247) Journal

      When I open a new tab in chrome, and try to do a search in the search box, it shifts focus instantly to the url field.

      Can anyone tell me how to prevent this? It makes searching google using a url as the keyword a huge, ginormous pain in the ass, and it interferes with what I'm doing on pretty much a daily basis.

      • Re:Chrome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @07:19PM (#46313253) Journal

        Whoever thought it was a good design choice, shifting the focus halfway across the screen after the user explicitly put focus on the search box... I sure hope they're no longer working in IT. That was just gross incompetence.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It's the same thing with the Google now app search bar. It looks like an input bar that you type into but its an app launcher. Never understood that..

        • it shits me to tears, if i put a url in the search box i want to search for the URL not go to the URL. at least it's open source, i smell a real fork coming in the next 6 months.
        • by onosson (1107107)
          Wow, I never noticed that before. What a strange idea.
        • It probably didn't take as many skilled developers as Windows 8, but a lot of fine effort probably went into this, done by competent professionals.
          I'm sure with a few months of concerted effort, we can all develop the proficiency required to use the solution as intended; Don't be a Luddite.

          • by amiga3D (567632)

            It's too easy just to use another browser. I'm not a Luddite, just lazy.

          • What if it was working perfectly well for you, and you were completely happy with the product, and someone BROKE it for you? You knew how it worked, you knew how to use it, and suddenly the rug was pulled out from under you. Oh, and by the way, they also changed the recipe for Coke and changed the rice crisps in your Nestles Crunch to soybeans.

            This is the major disconnect with open source, and a large reason non-programmers won't accept Linux: Developers change things because they think constant chan
      • by Fwipp (1473271)

        Why are you searching for URLs? If you add another word it'll be fine though - you can simply add a " ." if you like.

        • Why are you searching for URLs? If you add another word it'll be fine though - you can simply add a " ." if you like.

          Better than nothing, I guess. Thanks.

          • Re:Chrome (Score:5, Informative)

            by glavenoid (636808) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @08:11PM (#46313441) Journal

            Ctrl+k puts focus in the omni/address bar with a "?" which tells chrome you want to search rather than go to a url. Alternatively, you can add the ? as the first character in the address/omibar and this will also initiate a search rather than going to the site.

            • That's how I do searches, using the ? in the address bar. It's quite easy and intuitive.

              • by mlk (18543)

                How is that intuitive?

                • by EzInKy (115248)

                  Beer? (tell me about beer).
                  Beer! (get me to beer).

                  Seems very intuitive to me!

                  • by mlk (18543)

                    But that is after the item.
                    That also works in Chromes super bar thing.

                    Beer in chrome goes find me beer.
                    as does "Where do I buy strawberry beer?"

                    But I'd never think of writing "? Beer" to find beer.

            • by Fwipp (1473271)

              Oh thanks, that is better than the method I described.

        • that's pretty cool, how can i force it to go to sites it doesn't think are urls (ie my local network is all computername.l) without having to type in http:/// [http] and hope it works
          • by swillden (191260)
            Have you tried putting a slash on the end? We use a lot of single-word URLs internally and putting a slash on the end always convinces Chrome that I mean it as a URL not a search keyword.
        • Why are you searching for URLs?

          Because ... he wanted to?

          I personally do it most often because I want to find out about a server before I enable it in NoScript.

          Why shouldn't we be able to?

        • by N0Man74 (1620447)

          Why are you searching for URLs?

          The most obvious reasons are to determine how accurate, legitimate, honest, biased, trustworthy, or safe a site is.

          I find it far more surprising that you don't see the value of googling an URL.

      • by stooo (2202012)

        JUF : Just use Firefox.

  • by Darkon (206829) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @06:53PM (#46313143)

    Doesn't help that the new tab page lives inside a protected "chrome://" namespace which extensions are almost entirely prevented from touching, and uses private APIs for things like showing the most used pages, meaning that anyone wanting to put it back how it was by writing an extension has to reimplement everything from scratch.

  • what exactly is this topic saying?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tough Love (215404)

      It is saying the Google is slipping down the slippery slope of evil, ignoring massive negative feedback as usual, and demonstrating clearly why dominance of their non-open open source browser is a bad thing for everybody except Google.

      • by Fwipp (1473271) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @07:21PM (#46313267)

        I don't think "controversial UI" counts as "evil."

        • I don't think "controversial UI" counts as "evil."

          What about offering tools to exploit you by making you pick an option without considering if it's in your best interest?

          Does that qualify?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Tell that to all the people at soylentnews.org ;-)

        • by swillden (191260)

          I don't think "controversial UI" counts as "evil."

          Not even all that controversial, since the UI change happened about a year ago and Chrome market share has continued climbing.

          The only way to avoid annoying some percentage of your user base with UI changes is to never change the UI. Even clear improvements will generate screams of outrage from a few percent of the users, just because they don't like change.

          In any case, if people don't like Chrome's UI, there are plenty of other options. If you really dislike this change, just use a different browser th

      • Dominance? Non-open source? What are you wittering on about?

      • it's GPL, how's that not open source? the flash code? that's not open source anywhere.
  • https://support.google.com/installer/answer/146164?hl=en

    • Foolish idea (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sable Drakon (831800)
      And leave yourself with an increasingly insecure browser thanks to discovered bugs the updates you've blocked fix? No thanks. I'd swap browsers before leaving myself with an out-of-date browser.
      • by tgv (254536)

        Stop using Windows then...

        • Wouldn't the situation be same under other operating systems?
          • by tgv (254536)

            If you run Chrome on Linux or OSX under a non-admin account, you run less risks. Or perhaps it's time to start using Firefox or Chromium. Or even fork Chromium.

            But for utlimate safety: stay off the net...

  • Burning Chrome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kevlar_rat (995996) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @07:17PM (#46313249) Homepage Journal
    So basically a successful company forced a new UI on their audience, ignoring a mountain of negative feedback, without really understanding the community?
  • by kill-1 (36256) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @07:49PM (#46313379)

    If an empty new tab page would be configurable and Chrome wouldn't exit if a single tab is open and I press Ctrl-W, I'd be perfectly happy with Chrome's tabs. For the latter, I use the "Live On" extension, which is a bit quirky, unfortunately. With Firefox I can fix both these issues, at least in about:config.

    • I use the Chrome plugin called "Empty New Tab Page", which I think may be what you're looking for. I looked at several of them before deciding on this one...

  • With all of the HTTP components in language API's that can be integrated into applications I'm wondering why more people don't just give up on web browsers made by others. Though I wonder how many companies would block you from accessing their site if the browser doesn't have the correct branding.

    • by mlk (18543)

      > HTTP components in language API's

      I'm going to assume you mean complete stack (HTTP, HTML renderer, JS Engine etc). While the HTTP layer is fairly simple (and thus implement well in a ton of APIs for each of the major platforms), the rest is BIG and to do it well is hard so it is not done well all that often. So what you end up with is either a re-skinned IE, Firefox or Chrome.

      Now these exists, for a bunch of different reasons for example before IE had tabs a tabbed IE existed and people who want to sta

  • by Anonymous Coward

    People get tired of these endlessly changing interfaces. These days these things are 'consumer products' used by people who just want to get their task done and not have to fuck around with some interface some dweeb or marketing wanker has decided will be more 'keen' or' spiffy' if changed significantly.
    They just want it to do what they did yesterday and not have to search around for a control they learned to use routinely.

  • Thumbnails of the websites you visit frequently appear under the search box. Simply click a thumbnail to visit the site. To remove a most visited site, hover your mouse over the thumbnail, and click the X icon in the upper right corner of the thumbnail. https://support.google.com/chr... [google.com] I removed mine, opened a new tab and it was blank. I haven't restarted Chrome, so I don't know how long this effect lasts. HTH.
  • Chrome 33 was in Beta for a while before being released as stable. So these issues should have been picked up/highlighted then. How much negative feedback on the new 'new tab' page was there during the beta cycle? I am using Chromium beta cycle and soon got used to the new 'new tags' page.

  • by allo (1728082) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @05:45AM (#46315015)

    And remove some of the new unfeatures.

  • by kav2k (1545689) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @07:11AM (#46315163)

    You think that's the real problem in Chrome 33?

    Well, compare that to this fact: on Chrome 33 on Windows (and Windows only) all non-Chrome-Web-Store extensions are forcibly disabled and will not install anymore, with the exception of pushing them through domain group policy.

    http://www.chromium.org/develo... [chromium.org]

    So, say goodbye to anything not blessed by Google, like extensions that allow "the unauthorized download of streaming content or media".
    Unless you want to use the Dev channel as an official workaround, or are content with loading extensions unpacked, with no auto-update.

    It's not like I don't understand the problem, I've seen rampant Chrome crapware on clueless people's computers. But this is heavy-handed.

    • by mgiuca (1040724)

      (Disclosure: I am a Google Chrome engineer.)

      It's not like I don't understand the problem, I've seen rampant Chrome crapware on clueless people's computers. But this is heavy-handed.

      I'm glad you understand the severity of the problem. We took no joy in introducing these restrictions, but I think we made a good compromise between security and user freedom. If you don't want the extension side-loading policy, you have a number of options:

      • Use Mac or Linux.
      • Use Dev channel (but have potentially unstable code).
      • Loa
      • by kav2k (1545689)

        Thanks for the reply.

        I understand that there are several viable workarounds. Especially since on Windows, ChromeSxS actually works (hello, #38598 [google.com]), using unstable is relatively painless. But I can't shake off the feeling that you got a nice bonus of enforcing CWS TOS on the largest chunk of your userbase.

        Non-Web-Store extensions never had auto-update to begin with. The only difference between loading unpacked and side-loading is that it's a bit trickier to install unpacked, and Chrome will warn you every time you start up.

        This is simply not true. I've been an extension developer for quite a long time, and I've always hosted a beta version of my extension outside CWS, with auto-update, using update_url key in the manifest.

        And

        • by mgiuca (1040724)

          This is simply not true. I've been an extension developer for quite a long time, and I've always hosted a beta version of my extension outside CWS, with auto-update, using update_url key in the manifest.

          Ah OK. I didn't know about this feature. Then yeah, I guess your users won't be able to use that unless they're on dev.

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @08:11AM (#46315321)

    Personally I'm more worried about them having broken the rendering of the fonts on tabs a few versions back...
    It is antialiased despite my settings saying that it shouldn't.

  • >"The official suggestion from Google as well as OMG! Chrome is to try some New Tab page changing extensions, such as Replace New Tab, Modern New Tab Page, or iChrome." "

    My official suggestion would be to switch to using a browser that is designed, supported, and implemented by the COMMUNITY- Firefox. Google is going to do what Google wants to do to further their own goals, not necessarily ours. Over time, this becomes more and more apparent.

    Example- although Mozilla might be adding some links in the n

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