For those wanting to customize that start page, the ways to do it through Chrome’s internals are bizarre and, in some cases, complex. The way the start page works has changed over the last couple years and searching for help frequently lead to outdated solutions that no longer work.
It was a problem looking for an app to fix and clever developers responded with some tools that make Chrome’s start page a customizable wonder and tear down the limitations on how the start page is setup.
Speed Dial, pictured above, lets you configure the number of shortcut panels and includes many site logo panels. It’s simple, attractive and very useful. You can customize the number and size of the panels and set your own background. Speed Dial adds a speed link to your address bar which you can later disable when your panel page is set to your liking.
My only dings on Speed Dial are there could be more site logos and every so often some site panels will go blank for no apparent reason. Aside from those two minor dings it’s a big improvement over the stock start page. Note that Speed Dial 2 is a similar application by a different author, not the second generation of Speed Dial. Really, I like them both so you can’t really go wrong if you select the other one.
A Google featured extension Incredible Startpage rearranges the start page to include both side shortcuts and other types of bookmarks and task panels. The big bonus to Incredible Startpage is being able to put your apps on the same page as your shortcuts. Something that seems odd Google couldn’t figure out for themselves.
Start! is a highly rated bookmarks and app aggregator for your Chrome start page. Has a convenient Ctrl + R refresh shortcut for the days you’re burning up the net. This is another app that puts bookmarks and apps on the same page. Still a mystery that Google didn’t come up with that on their own, but that’s what keeps developers in business, right?
These three apps will make your Chrome start page a joy to use and take a good idea and make it even better.