Starting Life in a Browser

Earlier, I had asked the question “Could I Live in a Browser‘?  I never thought that it was possible but as I continue to poke around in the Google Chrome browser, I’m finding so many ways that I can.  By hitting the Google Chrome Store, web applications or links to the web resources just add the types of functionality that I need.

But, you have to start somewhere.  If you’re using the Chrome browser, you know that when you open a new tab, Chrome is good enough to remember your most recent/popular pages.  That’s a nice feature but could we get a little more?  With this extension, the answer is a definite yes.

Head over to the Google Chrome store and install the Incredible StartPage from Visibo.

This extension effectively overwrites the default option of displaying just pages.

In the upper left, you have a little notepad for quick notes.  I use mine as a quick t0-do list.  This link is synchronizable with your Gmail Account or to your Calendar.

The column with the recycle icon gives you access to your recently closed tabs.  If I ever get into the habit of closing tabs, that might be really handy!  I’m admittedly bad at just adding tab after tab until it’s tough to find things after a while.  (Although I use the Vertical Tabs extension to help out with that.

Quick and easy access to bookmarks in the grey window is very handy if you have more bookmarks than can be displayed on the screen.

Finally, in the big area, easy access to all the applications that you have installed into the browser is just a click away.  The application draws a background image from Flickr to spice things up for you.  If you’re experimenting with the concept of just living in the cloud for your classroom, you would customize these buttons for easy student access to your set of applications.

Of course, all of this is customizable in look so that no two start pages look the same.  The name of the application is Incredible and it is pretty impressive to see what can be done to replace the defaults.  If you’re living in your browser or running the Chrome OS, you’ll find this very handy.

I’ve got to believe that this is a foreshadowing of a future feature for Chrome.


3 thoughts on “Starting Life in a Browser

  1. I’ve given up the holy quest for One Browser to Rule them All. I actually have 5 installed on my Mac (mostly because I have personal and multiple work accounts on the same services, so it allows be to stay logged in).

    I’ve given both Forefox and Chrome a chance to be The One, but for now, I flip between them. Chrome is the main one I use for GApps, searching (I love the magic URL/search bar); it feels zippier, but has bad quirks on editing sites that use rich text editors (have run into issues in WordPress, drupal, Wikispaces, my own home grown PHP tools). Chrome also seems to bog up and stop showing images, calling for some regular cache flushes.

    I flip to Firefox for sites I need to do more of my web text editing. A few sites (like bank of America til recently, my Humana benefits site) did not like Chrome.

    While I agree with missing the view element feature of Firefox, at least Chrome wraps the source code! I’ve gottem a bit used to the developer debug tools in Chrome, they are powerful if you can find your way through the code, and the timeline tool (like Safari) is good for looking at performance.

    Sorry, I doubt you can have it all in one browser; I’m a flipper.


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