Web

Google testing new home page design

Google Search home page design Jan 2012

Google has begun testing a new design for its famously minimalist home page, reducing its recently-added grey menu along the top of the page to a grey logo at the upper left. When users click the logo, a fly-out menu reveals Google’s usual space of seven top services (Google+, Search, Images, Maps, YouTube, News, Gmail, and Documents) and a “More” option that flys out an hierarchical submenu with access to things like Reader, Calendar, Books, and Shopping. Each service is tagged with its own icon for easier visual identification.

The new design is not yet available to all Google users, but seems to be selectively available to some users in English-language markets.

The new design provides access to many of Google’s services that were previously missing from the home page, while putting the Google+ social networking service in a can’t-miss position on Google’s home page. That’s pretty prominent placement: last week, Nielsen declared Google was the most-visited Web site in the United States during 2011.

Overall, the new look bears a greater resemblance to Google’s Web-dependent Chrome operating system, which is currently available on a handful of Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung. Chromebooks have been out for more than a year, and so far Google has yet to announce any new partners for Chromebook devices—although CES is right around the corner. Google has rolled out similar makeovers for services like YouTube.

Some users of the new Google home page design have pointed out where many common Google services (News, Maps, Images, Shopping, Google+) were available via a single click on the grey menu across the top, the new design requires two clicks: one to drop the services menu, and another to select a service—with services on the “More” menu, it’s three clicks instead of two. Generally speaking, putting more clicks between a user and their destination is a quick way to stop users from accessing those service—although some analytics reports suggest that Google’s home page navigation actually sees relatively little use from everyday users, who instead merely search for what they want.

Google’s famously uncluttered home page design dates back to the late 1990s, when the company basically offered four things on its fast-loading page: a logo, a field, a search button, and the boastful “I’m feeling lucky.” Although the company has tucked more functionality and links into the page over the years—including its famous Google Doodles—Google’s primary home page remains one of the most streamlined and fast-loading sites for a major Internet company.

Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

Here's a handy guide to mirroring your favorite devices to your TV screen

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device (or PC) to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Microsoft extension adds Google Chrome support for Windows Timeline

The Windows Timeline feature is now much more versatile thanks to the added support for Google's Chrome browser. All you need to do to increase its functionality is to download the official Chrome extension.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.
Computing

YouTube changes its strikes system, offers softer first-offense penalty

YouTube announced changes to its strikes system for its content creators. The changes include a softer first-offense penalty for creators who violate YouTube's guidelines and more consistent penalties for further violations.
Computing

An experimental feature could help reduce memory usage in Google Chrome

Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser, but it also is a resource hog. Google is currently working on an experimental feature for Chrome which sets out to reduce its overall memory usage. 
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or OS.
Web

Rid yourself of website notification requests in just a few easy steps

Wish you knew how to block browser and website notifications? You can do it on a case by case basis, but that can become dull after the 10th site has asked for your approval. Here's how to block them outright.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.