Minterest » Tips http://www.minterest.org tech. marketing. mashups. Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:53:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Over 25 Google Chrome New Tab Extensions You Probably Don’t Know http://www.minterest.org/google-chrome-new-tab-extensions/ http://www.minterest.org/google-chrome-new-tab-extensions/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 12:40:00 +0000 http://www.minterest.org/?p=7318 I wanted to update my Speed Dial 2 review by listing more New Tab extensions at the end. But then I realized that there are ton of extensions that deserve a mention so I decided to feature the ones that I liked the most here. This article is for those who dislike the default Chrome [...]

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Google Chrome New Tab Page

I wanted to update my Speed Dial 2 review by listing more New Tab extensions at the end. But then I realized that there are ton of extensions that deserve a mention so I decided to feature the ones that I liked the most here. This article is for those who dislike the default Chrome New Tab page and is looking for a replacement.

I’ve categorized the extensions as Feature Rich and Simple/Empty New Tab extensions. You can try the feature rich extensions if you want a start page that’s customized to tailor your needs. And you can go for Simple extensions if you want to disable the default start page.

Feature Rich New Tab Extensions

The following extensions are more than just a new tab page as they allow you to customize your start page and have several add-on features.

1. Speed Dial 2

Speed Dial 2

Speed Dial 2 is one of the best Google Chrome New Tab extension that replaces your default new tab page with your favorite bookmarks, apps, most visited webpages, or even browsing history. Speed Dial is so powerful that you can customize almost all the aspects of that extension. It also tracks your browsing habits and shows you the most visited pages in the morning, afternoon, evening or night.

Read: Why Speed Dial 2 Is The Best Google Chrome New Tab Extension

2. Lightning NewTab

Lightning NewTab is perhaps the most popular new tab extension with over 10 million downloads. Lightning Newtab is a light weight HTLM5 extension that’s customizable and provides quick access to your favorite websites. It also features Google Search, Weather, Bookmarks, Recently Visited Sites, Chrome Extensions, etc. on the start page. Also try, Lightning SpeedDial.

3. OneFeed

OneFeed

OneFeed turns your New Tab page into an ultimate social dashboard. You can get updates from all your favorite websites like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Instagram, or even updates from news sites. And it comes with its own notification center that keeps you updated whenever there is a new e-mail message or a notification in one of your social media account.

4. Awesome New Tab Page

Awesome New Tab Page is a combination of Speed Dial 2 + Windows 8 UI. It uses dynamic widgets instead of speed dials. Also, you can customize the widgets and even search websites directly from the widgets.

5. Modern New Tab Page

Modern New Tab Page replaces the default new tab page with beautiful customizable live tiles. You can customize the background image, opacity, color and can choose 25+ themes or can even create your own themes. Also, you can change the color, icon, and sizes of live tiles and can configure the live tiles to show news updates using RSS. Also try, New MetroTab which is another new tab extension with Metro UI.

6. X New Tab Page

X New Tab Page offers Speed Dial 2 like experience. So you can try this extension if you’re not satisfied with Speed Dial 2. And it’s worth to mention that X New Tab Page saves all your customization in the cloud for free (in Speed Dial 2 you need a premium account for that feature). Also, you can also configure dials to show the weather report and can even put a search engine in the dial box.

7. Start

Start shows all the bookmarks in your Chrome Bookmarks Bar as a start screen with custom background. You can continue to bookmark websites into the bookmarks bar. It also shows all the Chrome Web Apps and you can even show news feed.

8. Currently

Currently

Currently is a beautiful extension that replaces the new tab page with the current time and weather. You can customize its appearance to some extent by using the options.

9. Fruumo New Tab Page

Fruumo

Fruumo New Tab Page is an elegantly designed extension that shows Weather, Time, Recently Closed Tabs, Apps, Voice assistant, etc. on its start screen.

10. iOS 7 New Tab Page

IOS 7 New Tab Page

iOS 7 New Tab Page is another beautiful new tab extension that offers an iOS 7 like experience in Google Chrome with an App Store.

11. Google Now New Tab Page

Google Now New Tab Page adds a Google Search box, voice search, weather, news, apps, etc. to your new tab page.

12. Be Limitless

Be Limitless

Be Limitless offers a rich interface with some tools to increase your productivity. For example, you can set your annual goals and follow-up with it and you can track the time that you have spent in a particular tab. You can click the Limitless icon on the browser to find your daily productivity. And it also includes a notepad, to-do, features inspiring quotes, etc. But wait, it is perhaps the heaviest Chrome extension that I have ever installed (it’s over 18 MB).

13. Knew Tab

Knew Tab is a productive New Tab page with quick access to your unread E-mails, Facebook notifications, Stock Quotes, News, Clock, Weather, Search, etc.

14. Incredible StartPage

Incredible StartPage is another productive start page for Google Chrome that’s highly customizable. It shows the bookmarks in our Chrome Bookmarks Bar, Recently Closed Tabs, and a Sticky Note that can sync with your Google account. Also, there’s a quick tab to access your Chrome apps and Most Visited webpages.

15. Start.me

With Start.me, you can create a start page with bookmarks, feeds, and dozens of widgets (like stock, weather, Facebook & Twitter feeds, etc). You can also fully customize the design, and it works across all browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari) and devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), so that you will always have access to your start page.

Simple Or Empty Tab Extensions

If you don’t want a feature rich new tab page then you can try any of the following extensions as they offer a clean start page.

16. New Tab Redirect

New Tab Redirect is one of the most popular Chrome new tab extension out there as it allows us to set a custom URL as our new tab page. You can also set Chrome’s about pages, Extension page, History, Downloads, Bookmarks, etc. as your new tab page. Wait, you can also create a file on your PC and set as your new tab page. You can also try the Replace New Tab Page extension to replace the New Tab page with any website.

17. New Tab To Tasks

New Tab To Tasks is another productivity extension that redirects your New Tab page to Google Tasks.

Read: Top 25 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions For Bloggers

18. Empty New Tab Page

Empty New Tab Page displays a blank new tab page instead of the default new tab page filled with website thumbnails. It’s a must-have extension for a distraction free browsing experience. An alternative is the Blank New Tab extension which replaces the new tab page with a simple “about:blank” page.

BONUS:

  1. Momentum — shows a personal dashboard featuring a to-do list, weather, time and inspiration.
  2. Motivation — replaces your new tab page with a real-time counter of your age.
  3. Noosfeer — replaces your new tab page with a reading list. If you have nothing to read then Noosfeer will suggest articles that you might like or you can synchronize your Pocket account.
  4. Dayboard — replaces your new tab page with a to-do list.
  5. Dream Afar — if you love the Bing.com homepage then you’re going to love Dream Afar.
  6. Earth View — displays a unique satellite image from Google Maps whenever you open a new tab page.
  7. Card Board — replaces your new tab page with a card interface that shows useful shortcuts and informations.

Don’t Need Another Extension?

Myfav.es

If you don’t want to install an extension to customize your Chrome’s New Tab page then I would recommend Myfav.es. It’s a free, elegant, and customizable start page for any web browser, tablet or smartphone. Simply add your favorite websites and then set your custom Myfav.es page (e.g. myfav.es/your-username) as your Chrome homepage. It’s quite effective if you switch your web browsers (or devices) very often.

Like The Old Chrome New Tab Page?

Google Chrome Old New Tab Page

Now if you prefer the old Google Chrome New Tab page then you can switch back by following the steps below:

Google Chrome Old New Tab Page

  • Open a new Chrome tab.
  • Go to the following URL: chrome://flags/#enable-instant-extended-api
  • Turn off “Enable Instant Extended API” by choosing the “Disabled” option.
  • Now click the “Relaunch Now” button at the bottom and you’ll see the old New Tab page.

Read: How To Create Custom Search Engines In Chrome To Boost Productivity

Have I missed your favorite Google Chrome extension to replace the new tab page? If so, let me know as a comment below!

First Published: January, 2014; Last Updated: December, 2014

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Why Speed Dial 2 Is The Best Google Chrome New Tab Extension http://www.minterest.org/why-speed-dial-2-is-the-best-google-chrome-new-tab-extension/ http://www.minterest.org/why-speed-dial-2-is-the-best-google-chrome-new-tab-extension/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 13:42:00 +0000 http://www.minterest.org/?p=6624 If your primary web browser is Google Chrome then it’s more likely that its “New Tab” page appears annoying to you. I’m one of those who prefers to keep the number of web browser extensions or mobile apps as minimum as possible. But at the same time I make sure that I have all the [...]

Why Speed Dial 2 Is The Best Google Chrome New Tab Extension is a post by Minterest

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Google Chrome

If your primary web browser is Google Chrome then it’s more likely that its “New Tab” page appears annoying to you.

I’m one of those who prefers to keep the number of web browser extensions or mobile apps as minimum as possible. But at the same time I make sure that I have all the tools I want.

So if you want to customize the “New Tab” page then there are so many extensions available on the Chrome web store. Yes, Google is improving the appearance of the “New Tab” page but you still can’t customize it the way you want.

Now It Looks Like:

Google Chrome New Tab Page

The default New Tab page can be distracting in a number of ways. Since it shows random websites most probably you will end up visiting those websites even if you didn’t want to. So it means you will be spending more time browsing.

However since every person has a different browsing behavior their preferences differ. I’m going to assume that you need a perfect page that has all the links to your favorite websites (and apps). In that case what you basically need is a New Tab extension that features your favorite websites.

You’re certainly going to get confused if you search the Chrome web store as there are dozens of extensions that do this job.

I have tried many of them over the past several years and I find Speed Dial 2 as the best extension. Why? Because we can customize it the way we want. You can customize almost everything that you see in Speed Dial 2’s New Tab page.

My Google Chrome’s Speed Dial 2 Page Looks Like:

Speed Dial 2 – Google Chrome Extension – Windows 8

It’s basically a replacement for Google’s default “New Tab” page and it allows you to set your own favorite webpages and apps as the new shortcuts.

“Speed Dial 2 is fast and clean extension for your favorite pages and quick access to your apps, bookmarks and browsing history.”

What I really like the most about this extension is that you can set your own images as the shortcut icon. If you’re using Chrome’s “New Tab” page then you know that it can’t be customized. Google Chrome automatically shows each website’s thumbnail as the shortcut icon and it causes some kind of anxiety whenever I see sites that are not supposed to be there.

Speed Dial 2 Options

Also, with Speed Dial 2 you can customize each shortcut’s URL, name, and the thumbnail image. Also, when you enter Speed Dial 2 options you can customize the number of columns, dial spacing, order, thumbnail ratio, screen width, dial style, background, etc.

If you’re using a lot of Chrome apps then you can show the Apps panel on your Speed Dial 2’s New Tab page and can customize its appearance.

Again it has its own customizable sidebar that shows the Recently closed tabs, Apps, and Bookmarks (from Chrome or Google bookmarks or Delicious or Pinboard).

Speed Dial 2 Premium

If you pay $1.99 (one-time fee) then you can access your Speed Dial 2 bookmarks from your web browser or mobile web browser. That’s not all, as a premium member all your bookmarks will be synced across all your computers and mobile devices.

If you don’t want to become a paid member and want to use Speed Dial 2 on multiple computers then you can use the Import/Export feature of this extension as it allows you to import/export your dials and settings to another computer.

The only drawback about Speed Dial 2 extension is that it affects Chrome’s startup time to some extent. So you may have to wait when you open Chrome first time after a reboot. But I don’t think that this startup delay is going to be a problem as concurrent browser sessions are not affected.

Looking for alternatives? Try the following extensions:

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10 Surefire Ways To Improve The Battery Life Of Your iPhone & iPad [Tips] http://www.minterest.org/10-surefire-ways-to-improve-the-battery-life-of-your-iphone-ipad-tips/ http://www.minterest.org/10-surefire-ways-to-improve-the-battery-life-of-your-iphone-ipad-tips/#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:21:00 +0000 http://www.minterest.com/?p=6072 What should be the ideal battery life (time your device will run before it must be recharged) offered by a smartphone and a tablet? Well, if you ask me then I would say a smartphone should offer at least 2 days standby with 10-12 hours of usage. And a tablet should offer at least 4 [...]

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What should be the ideal battery life (time your device will run before it must be recharged) offered by a smartphone and a tablet? Well, if you ask me then I would say a smartphone should offer at least 2 days standby with 10-12 hours of usage. And a tablet should offer at least 4 days standby with 20 hours of usage.

iPhone 2 Days Standby and 12 Hours Usage

As you probably know, everyone criticizes iPhone by saying that it fails to offer even 6 hours of battery life. But here’s how I managed to get 2 days Standby with 12 hours of usage.

My iPhone Home Screen looks like:

iPhone Home Screens

As you can see I don’t have much entertainment stuff as I don’t use the phone to watch videos or play games or to click photos. So you can take that into account.

Increase iPhone/iPad Battery Life: 5 Best Practices

Paying attention to just a few common sense pointers will pay off with a longer battery lifespan and battery life for your iPhone/iPad.

Let’s start with 5 best practices to maximize the lifespan and battery life of your iPhone and iPad as offered by Apple here (for iPhone) and here (for iPad).

  • Upgrade your iOS software (Settings > General > Software Update) and apps (from App Store > Updates) regularly as developers may have implemented new ways to optimize battery performance.
  • Use your iPhone and iPad regularly. You have to make sure that your iOS device goes through at least one charge cycle per month. Which means you have to charge the battery to 100% and then let it discharge completely as it’s important to keep the electrons in your battery moving in order to improve the efficiency of the battery.
  • Keep your iPhone & iPad out of the sun or a hot car as heat will degrade your battery’s performance the most.
  • Let your iPhone & iPad breath as charging your device while it is in certain carrying cases may generate excess heat and it can affect battery capacity.
  • Set your Auto-Lock (Settings > General > Auto-Lock) time interval to a short time, such as 1 Minute or 2 Minutes.

1. Adjust Screen Brightness

If you’re a smartphone user then no one needs to tell you that adjusting the screen brightness can improve your battery life. According to Wired.com “an iPhone 4 should last about 6.5 hours of continuous use on the lowest brightness setting and about 3.5 hours on the highest brightness setting.”

2. Turn On Auto-Brightness Or Set It Manually To Low

iPhone Auto-Brightness

My Auto-Brightness is turned off and the screen brightness is set to 25-30% manually as I prefer to increase it manually when I want to. If you’re too lazy to adjust the screen brightness manually then turn on Auto-Brightness (Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper > Auto-Brightness).

3. Kill Unused Background Apps Manually

iPhone Task Manager

Though your iPhone is pretty good in app management it’s good to kill some background apps manually. Double tap your Home button, press and hold an app for few seconds, and now close it manually by tapping on (-).

4. Turn Off System Services

iPhone System Services

You can turn off the System Services (Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services) as most of them are used by Apple to improve their services. You can disable all the options in that section and your iPhone & iPad will continue to work the way it used to.

5. Turn Off Location Services

iPhone Location Services

Some apps (Maps, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) requests and uses your location (Settings > Privacy > Location Services) and it can reduce the battery life significantly. You can either turn off location services completely or can turn it off for individual apps. Unless you want to share your location you don’t really have to turn this on. I’ve enabled location services for just two apps namely Google Maps and Find My Phone (or Find My iPad).

6. Turn Off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular (3G/LTE)

You can turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Cellular (iPhone > Settings > General > Cellular & iPad > Settings > Cellular Data) when you know you’re not going to use it. Turn off Cellular Data on your iPad when you’re on Wi-Fi as it doesn’t make any difference since your iPad can’t make cellular calls.

7. Optimize Push Settings For Mail, Contacts, Calendars

iPhone Fetch New Data

Push Notifications are really nice when you want to receive real-time alerts about new e-mails. But it’s a good idea to turn it off when you don’t need/use it. For example, if you’re mostly on your PC then you can turn off Push Mail on your iOS device. Instead, make use of "Fetch New Data" (Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data) and optimize the same. Apply a Fetch schedule like every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or even manual (fetch less frequently for a better battery life) so that your device will check for new updates only at those selected intervals.

8. Optimize Push Notifications

iPhone Notifications

Push notifications works wonderfully on your iPhone and iPad. But it’s also true that apps that rely too much on Push Notifications (like social media and instant messenger apps) affect the battery life to a great extent.

You can tweak your Push Notifications (Settings > Notifications) by disabling Notification Center, Alerts, Badge App Icons, Sounds, Lock Screen Notifications for individual apps according to your preference.

9. Siri

iPhone Siri Settings

You know you can talk to Siri by pressing and holding the home button or by raising your phone to your ear. So if you’re like me who doesn’t use Siri much then you can either turn it off completely or can disable “Raise to Speak” (Settings > General > Siri) feature. Even if you don’t use Siri you can still keep it ‘On’ like me as it didn’t show much notable difference in battery life (at least for me).

10. Make Use Of Airplane Mode

When you’re in a no coverage area (or when you don’t want to use your phone for voice or data) you can turn on Airplane Mode (Settings > Airplane Mode). This can boost your battery life as your iPhone & iPad always tries to connect to a cellular network and it uses more power when you’re in a low-coverage or a no-coverage area.

BONUS: Disable Vibration & Keyboard Clicks

You can disable Vibrate on Ring (Settings > Sounds) when you use your phone indoor. Additionally you can turn off Keyboard Click (Settings > Sounds) sounds as they use processing power.

How I Got 7 Days Standby With 24 Hours Usage On iPad mini

Everyone knows that iPad offers incredible battery life. And it’s true because my iPad mini offers 7 days Standby with 24 hours Usage on Wi-Fi with Cellular Data disabled and 6 days Standby with 12 hours+ Usage on Wi-Fi with Cellular Data enabled [Screenshot].

iPad mini 7 Days Standby and 24 Hours Usage

The brightness was set at around 50% [Screenshot] and the only Location Services that’s ON are Google Maps and Find My iPad [Screenshot]. When it comes to Notifications, the only apps that are in the Notification Center are FaceTime, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Mail, Skype, and the Share Widget [Screenshot]. Again, all the System Services (Cell Network Search, Compass Calibration, Diagnostics & Usage, Setting Time Zone, etc.) are also tuned off [Screenshot].

Now it’s time to check the usage of your iPhone and iPad

Both iPhone & iPad show  the Usage and Standby time (Settings > General > Usage) since your last full recharge. You can tweak your device’s settings by following the above tips and note the difference in battery life each time you change some settings.

P.S. Please note that some of the above Usage and Settings screenshots are taken from my 2012 archive.

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