Sunday, March 20, 2011

Google Chrome's Experimental New Tab Page for Touch Screens

A recent Chromium build added a new alternative to the about:flags page: an experimental new tab page. The efficient new tab page is a work in progress and it's optimized for touch screens. Right now, it only includes the web apps you've before installed, which can be prearranged in multiple home screens.

"The idea with this touch NTP is to focus (for now) on apps, and make it easy
to position them into pages. You can swipe/drag to switch pages, and press
and hold to lift an app and rearrange it," explains Google.

I found an attractive comment in one of Google's JavaScript files: "Note that, while the creation portion of the touch NTP is intended to work just in the latest version of Chrome, this hack attempts to add some support for working in older browsers to enable testing and expression on existing tablet platforms. In particular, this code has been tested to work on Mobile Safari in iOS 4.2. The goal is that the need to support any other browser ought to not leak out of this file - and so we will hack global JS objects as essential here to present the delusion of running on the latest account of Chrome."

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