Chrome’s basic new tab page is boring and lazy. We’ve covered several new tab pages for Chrome before, including one for Windows 8 and GoogleNow, but New MetroTab takes the concept of the Modern Windows 8 design to a whole new level. Let’s show you how New MetroTab brings live tiles to your new tab page in Chrome.
How To Get Started With New MetroTab
Head to the Chrome Web Store and New MetroTab’s page there.
Click “Add to Chrome.”
When the next dialog box comes up click “Add To Chrome” to begin the installation process for New MetroTab.
Once installed, you won’t need to restart Chrome to start using your new Windows 8-based new tab page.
Open a new tab to get started.
As you can see, your new tab page now resembles the Start Screen in Windows 8.
Click on the picture in the top right-hand corner of the tab.
Now, click “Options.”
We’re going to customize the look and feel of New MetroTab in Chrome.
Click on “Appearances.”
You have several ways to customize the appearance of the new tab page, similar to how you would in Windows 8.
User settings allow you to use a name, nickname and choose an avatar.
Colors settings allow you to choose a basic background for the new tab page, along with color scheme.
Animations settings allow you to tweak the animations that go along with the live tiles you use and create yourself in New MetroTab.
Details settings allow you to name the New MetroTab new tab page in Chrome, along with adjusting the background image, using a smaller scrollbar and using a solid color on tiles.
Custom CSS allows you to customize the look and feel of New MetroTab anyway you see fit within the use of the CSS language.
Then, click on “Live Tiles” in the Options menu.
General Options lets you choose the delay in which live tile data is shown on the new tab page.
We suggest anywhere from five to seven seconds otherwise you may slow down Chrome performance.
The next section, Tile: Gmail, lets you know that if you use the built-in Gmail live tile, you’ll be prompted to give New MetroTab permission to do so upon first use.
RSS Feed tile lets you choose what the default reader will be in the new tab page.
You can click the “Drop Down Arrow” to choose from the readers New MetroTab supports.
The Weather tile allows you to choose your location and measurement system for up to date weather reports in your area.
The built-in deviantArt tile has a variety of custom options you can toggle on or off as you see fit.
If you aren’t going to use this tile, you don’t have to worry about these settings at all.
Now, click on “Optional functions.”
One of the better features implemented with this New MetroTab is the ability to see the recently closed tabs in the new tab page. Many new tab page extensions don’t do this or don’t implement it well. New MetroTab makes it seamless to access recently closed tabs from the new tab page.
If you opt to enable the Recently closed tabs, New MetroTab will ask your permission to gain access to them before continuing.
The developer for New MetroTab has included an experimental build that would make the extension work on touch screen devices. However, it’s still buggy and in the works, because the extension is being built on a PC and not a touch screen device or monitor. So, use this feature at your own risk.
Then, click on “Import/Export settings.”
Another great feature about New MetroTab is the ability to export and import your layout in New MetroTab. This can be useful for working on multiple computers or just having a saved copy of what you’ve done with New MetroTab available should you need to install Chrome from scratch.
You can also import settings for the New MetroTab extension as you need to.
Click on “About.”
The About area gives you a little more information about the developer and the extension. You can follow the developer on a variety of social networks to show your support.
Below that, you can request support from the developer to help make New MetroTab extension better or to work out bugs you may encounter.
The developer also acknowledges some of those that helped make New MetroTab available in multiple languages.
Finally, click on “Changelog.”
The Changelog gives you a breakdown of all the changes made from version to version of New MetroTab.
Let’s get to the heart of New MetroTab in Chrome.
How To Use New MetroTab In Chrome
From the new tab page created by New MetroTab, you can right-click on a single tile or multiple ones to bring up the familiar Windows 8 app menu.
You have a variety of options to choose from when working with tiles: You can copy the URL that is opened when you use the tile, delete tiles, change icons, change sizes, change the background colors and even change the tile labels.
Click “Change icon” and you’ll be able to choose a picture anywhere on your computer to represent the icon.
Changing sizes will go back and forth between small and medium tiles on the new tab page.
Changing background color will let you choose a new color. You will need a HEX code for the color to change it.
Changing the label will let you rename the tile as you see fit or eliminate the title completely.
You can delete tiles one by one or in batches, similar to Windows 8.1 letting you batch edit tiles and groups on the Start Screen.
You can also drag and drop tiles as you see fit into different groups.
You can’t rename groups in the new tab page, but you can organize them as you want.
You’re able to add tiles to the new tab page created by New MetroTab by clicking on your avatar, then clicking “Add Tile.”
The top will show a preview of the tile as it’ll look on the new tab page.
You can add the link to the website and the extension will load the data it needs from the website where it can. From there, you can customize the tile as you wish.
You can name it, change the background color and go to the large size tile.
You’re also able to choose your own picture to use to represent the tile. I recommend using 120 x 120 px for a small tile and 235 x 112 for the large tile in New MetroTab for best results.
You’re also able to create RSS feed-based live tiles on your new tab page, so long as you have the RSS feed URL for the website or blog.
When ready, click “Create tile,” and it’ll appear on your new tab page.
Once you visit the page, if enough information is available, it’ll turn into a live tile showing you the latest goings-ons from the website or blog.
At any time during the customization process, you’re able to restore the original tiles that came with the installation of New MetroTab. Click on your avatar, then click “Restore tiles.”
You can then go through the tiles and select what you want to add back to the new tab page.
When it comes to new tab pages in Chrome, New MetroTab gives users an exceptional way to customize Chrome. The default new tab page is boring and highly nonfunctional for a browser that has evolved the way we surf the Web. For now, using extensions like New MetroTab are the only way to get the most out of the new tab page in Google Chrome.
I have tried many new tab page extensions over the years for Chrome and have never stuck with one like I have New MetroTab. Perhaps, it’s because I’ve become such a fan of Windows 8 or maybe I just appreciate the functionality that comes with New MetroTab. Whatever it is, New MetroTab is exactly what I’ve wanted in a new tab page extension. I encourage users, even those who aren’t fans of Windows 8, to give New MetroTab a try to see what it brings to Chrome. You may even find yourself wanting to try Windows 8 because of it.
If you give New MetroTab a try, let us know in the comments below the types of tiles you’ve created. We’d love to see what our readers have come up with.