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

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:

  • http://www.quizvook.com Kamalg

    Really Helpful extension in Chrome thanks a lot for sharing Mahesh.

  • http://www.darlanne.com Darlanne

    I agree. This is my most used extension in Chrome. I especially love the groups feature, and I have replaced all my bookmarks, using SD2 instead. I also love the level of customization. I paid for the premium, and it’s so cheap, at $1.99, it’s a no-brainer, to get the sync feature. My only gripe would be that it’s not a short process of adding a page to a group without an extra click or two of the context menu. Beyond that, it’s brilliant.

    • http://www.maheshone.com Mahesh Mohan

      Exactly Darlanne! The syncing is really useful and for me the only issue is its loading time. So you have to wait until the extension is fully loaded when you startup and fully closed when you exit otherwise it shows the annoying restore tabs warning on the sidebar. The default Google Chrome’s New Tab page loads in almost no time and the recently redesigned New Tab page is even better.

  • Stan

    They have just raised price from $1.99 to $2.99. F..k that

  • Jon Thomas

    My personal favorite is http://www.start.me – their add-on allows for really easy bookmark managing. I’ve created pages for work and private life, to organize my internet experience.

  • http://jamesmartinduffy.com James Duffy

    My problem is that there’s a slight delay in loading the start page. If I’m copy/pasting something to the address bar in a new tab, I tend to push “cmd-t cmd-v enter” in succession pretty quickly, only to have chrome then redirect to the speeddial2 page. This happens enough times in a day that’s frustrating, so I’m considering uninstalling the extension unless there’s a fix for it.

    • http://www.minterest.org Mahesh Mohan

      Yes, I agree… the slow start up is really a problem for this extension…. but still it’s the best plugin to customize the new tab page the way we want to see.

  • adam
    • http://www.minterest.org Mahesh Mohan

      Wow! Definitely new to me and it looks good with well over 250k users.

  • Vicky

    How do you install speed dial 2???

  • Vicky

    Thank you !! it worked I download speed dial 3 !!

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Great! And do check http://www.minterest.org/google-chrome-new-tab-extensions/ if you’re looking for more Chrome New Tab extensions. Now I’m using a blank new tab extension instead of Speed Dial 2 to speed up chrome startup and also for distraction free browsing. :)