Google updates Chrome Web Store, New Tab experience [video]

Hey Google Chrome users! If you're anything like me, you checked out the Chrome Web App Store once when it launched, and then never bothered to go back. It wasn't a very appealing product, to be honest, and there wasn't all that much available in it.

Well go look again. Google has refreshed the store with a bold new look. Depending on your bias, it looks a bit like Windows 8's Metro UI, or a bit like the on-device Android Market. Either way it's a much more appealing shopping experience with big bold images and one click installations (or launching, if the app is already installed). Some apps are highlighted and include a way to flip through a few screens without losing your place in the overall list of apps.

There's a list of categories on the left to help you hone in on what you're looking for, but the majority of the page is devoted to an endless (not literally but it can seem that way) scrolling list of apps. Maybe all this content has been in there for a while, but the new UI really exposes it nicely.

In addition to the new store experience, Chrome 15's latest update includes a revamp of the "New Tab" experience. Instead of minimized apps on the top and most visited site thumbnails on the bottom (or perhaps vice versa) there are now two separate pages, one for Most Visited sites and the other for Web Apps. You can navigate between the two via links at the bottom of the page or arrows on the edges. Recently closed tabs are now tucked away in a pop-up list accessible from either of these pages.

On the Web App page, you can now re-arrange your apps and easily delete them when they're no longer needed. Chrome users should (in my opinion) just update to the latest version and try these changes out for themselves, but if you need more convincing, here's a Google-produced video showing off the new features:

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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