Headshot of James Moss

James Moss

I’m a freelance full-stack engineer with over 15 years experience. Currently taking on new React based opportunities, drop me a line 👋

Embark - A hyper minimalistic new tab page for Chrome

The new tab page in your browser is something you look at hundreds of times each week but you probably don’t put much thought into what appears there; most of the time it acts an interstitial page that flashes up briefly before you stick a URL or search term in the address bar and navigate away.

There’s quite a few new tab page extensions that replace the default out there already for Chrome. I’ve tried most of the popular ones but they all suffer from similar problems:

  • Feature overload Do you really need to check your stocks, weather, todo list and news feeds from your new tab page? Don’t even get me started on the saccharine motivational quotes.
  • Speed Your new tab page should be fast to load and not get in the way of you using your browser. Due to the previous point this is usually not the case.
  • Bad imagery I don’t want to see cheesy, overprocessed (and sometimes 3D rendered) images every time I hit that new tab button.

Frustrated with the bloat, lack of customisation, poor photography and slow loading speeds of similar new tab extensions I’ve built my own.

Screenshot of Embark

Embark replaces Chrome’s default new tab page with a pared back design and beautiful photography. It’s a gentle reminder throughout the day of the current time and some nice eye candy before you set off into the Internet.

I’ve just released version 0.4 and you can grab it right now from the Chrome Web Store.

Screenshot of Embark

There’s deliberately just a small selection of features at the moment but each one is highly customisable through the options page. I’ve really focused on ensuring Embark loads blazingly fast and uses as little system resources as possible.

If you install it and like it please leave a good review on the Chrome Store.