New tab page extensions, can you ever get enough of them? The only problem with these new tab page extensions, especially on Chrome, is that there are tons of them, and many of them are actually really good. As a user, you need to find the one that’s perfect for you, and once you do, you’re free to enjoy the best new tab page you can possibly imagine.
How do you find that perfect match in the vast sea of opportunities? You read about it on MakeUseOf, of course! I told you about a great one called OneFeed just a little while ago, and in that article, commenter Nikhil C pointed me to Fruumo. Is it worth your time?
A Minimalistic New Tab Page
Like many other new tab page extensions, Fruumo includes several different elements: most visited pages, current date, time and weather, a 5-day weather forecast, Facebook notifications, your Chrome apps, a recently closed tab list, and a minimal RSS reader. It also includes a search box for searching through your bookmarks, apps, and Google. You can click the current weather icon to view the weather for later this day, and hover over the current temperature to view today’s high and low.
Everything in Fruumo is customizable up to a point, and everything is almost as bare-bones as it can possibly be. The result is a relatively lightweight and fast new tab page that provides lots of useful information at a glance.
How Do The Features Work?
Every time you open a new tab, you’ll see a wallpaper of your choosing (or the default one you see above), overlaid with website tiles. These will be populated automatically from your history, but you can manually add websites as well. This feature gets a little buggy if you add too many tiles, and unfortunately, you can’t remove the ones that Fruumo puts there automatically. You can however, remove all the tiles, and enjoy a tile-less new tab page. Don’t expect the thumbnails to be too accurate either.
Simple features such as the 5-day weather forecast, the app list and the recently closed tabs list work without a hitch. All you have to do is hit the respective button on the bottom toolbar to launch each of these features. You can use the app list to easily uninstall apps by dragging them to the trash icon.
If you want to keep track of what’s happening on Facebook without actually launching the time-wasting website, you’re going to love the Facebook notifications feature. Just click the Facebook icon to access all your recent notifications. Clicking on one will take you to the relevant page on Facebook.
This feature also tells you how many unread messages you have on Facebook, but there’s no way to access them from here.
The RSS reader, while great for a quick glance over your favorite feeds, leaves a lot to be desired. To start, you need to manually add all your feeds using an RSS feed URL for each — there’s no easy way to import or add feeds. When you’ve gone through the trouble of adding some, all you can see are the headlines, and if you hover over one, the beginning of the article.
While it sure seems like you can simply move your cursor to the article and scroll through it, you actually can’t. Once you move your cursor from the headline, the article popup disappears in a frustrating game of cat and mouse. Still, it’s a great way to quickly go through a few favorite feeds, and click on articles you find interesting to open them in new tabs. For some, especially those who don’t follow many feeds, this could be a great way to avoid an actual feed reader while still keeping up with some favorite websites.
Fruumo’s killer feature, at least in my book, is the search box. Use it to quickly search through your bookmarks, bookmarklets and Chrome apps. If it doesn’t find anything, it will offer to perform a Google search for the term.
As mentioned above, every feature is customizable to a degree. You’ll find everything you need in the Settings, which you can access by clicking the cogwheels icon. Here is where you can set your location for weather forecasts, choose your temperature units and time format, customize you background and font color, add RSS feeds and website tiles, enable or disable Facebook notifications, and more.
One of the more obscure features I found here is the “Assistant”. Supposedly, Fruumo comes with speech commands you can use, but there’s no means of making it listen for speech, and not surprisingly, speaking randomly when it’s open does absolutely nothing.
I’m sure there must be some way to actually use this “assistant”, but I’ll admit it eluded me completely.
In general, Fruumo is missing some kind of documentation to help users get the best out of the extension. There is a Questions page available, but it answers a very limited number of questions.
Fruumo will not fit everyone, but if you’re the minimalistic type, care about the weather and want basic access to a variety of features, you’re probably going to love it.
Remember when I said there are plenty of these new tab page extensions to try? I wasn’t kidding. For some more great options, you should also check out:
- Bring Some Life Into Your Browser With These 5 Brilliant Start-Page Extensions
- 9 Ways to Customise the New Tab Page in Chrome
- 4 Great Apps And Extensions To Renovate Chrome’s New Tab Page
What is your favorite new tab page extension for Chrome? Do you have one for a different browser you’d like to recommend? Let us know!
Image Credit: PlaceIt by Breezi