Google has rolled out version 15 of Chrome to its “stable” channel. The update brings some minor cosmetic changes, including a slightly cleaner new tab page, and Google has also redesigned the Chrome Web Store with a simpler layout.
The “new tab” page, which is displayed by default for blank tabs, currently shows a thumbnail grid of the user’s most-visited websites and provides shortcuts to the user’s installed Web applications. The new version is functionally identical, but the layout and behavior have been tweaked.
Users can page between the application shortcuts and page thumbnails by clicking an arrow or by using the navigation bar at the bottom of the page. They can also create multiple pages for the application icons. The ability to “pin” a thumbnail to the grid is no longer available, but it’s possible to drag a thumbnail to one of the application pages. Right-clicking an application icon allows users to specify whether the app should open in a regular tab, a pinned tab, or in full screen.
Alongside these changes, Google also overhauled the Chrome Web Store. The design has been greatly simplified with a design that feels more application-like. The main content area displays a grid of installable extensions, applications, and themes. It will dynamically load more as you scroll down. A sidebar on the left lets you search or filter by category, while a navigation bar at the top shows bread crumbs indicating your current location in the navigation hierarchy.
The new version is currently being rolled out to end users, but it can also be downloaded manually from Google’s website.
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Chrome 15 released with… improved start page