iChrome

Typical iChrome screenshot

iChrome is a New Tab Alternative you’ll grow to love. Eventually. First, you have to set it up, just the way you want to. You can add widgets with a drag and drop, change some settings, import bookmarks, get inspirational quotes. Adding widgets is easy, once you see how.

Performance

The site load locally, so it’s fast. You can detect some delays when refreshing an RSS feed, but this never really becomes cumbersome. It’s not clear how the news gets aggregated, but they still offer many different sources, like the New York Times. Everything seems designed for speed.

Features

  • Fast loading homepage you can personalize.
  • You get a few quick links. It’s not a viable bookmark manager.
  • You can follow the news with an RSS feed, even see it full screen.
  • There is a theme shop, to change the background image and other styling options.
  • When switching from grid to page layout, the site doesn’t respond well.
  • Limited personalization options to preset widgets.

Benefits iChrome

As with many New Tab Alternatives, this version offers a lot more functionality than Google. You can enable or disable the search box, add widgets, and generally make your homepage or new tab page functional again. Still, this slimmed-down version of a start.me page doesn’t really convince us since it also limits the user a lot. You can customize your page, but not with the powerful functionality of a bookmark manager. None the less, you could do a lot worse.

Drawbacks iChrome

We’ve mentioned the biggest drawback already: it’s functional, but not very practical. You get 8 quick links in the PRO version: this must be a joke! The other widgets are mostly shipped with a Windows computer or Mac too, so we don’t see a lot of added value.

Compatibility

Not responsive, and since it’s not possible to install an extension in a mobile version of the Chrome browser, it’s useless outside the Chrome desktop.

Price

For $ 4,99 per month or $ 29,99 per year, this seems like an expensive addition to your browser. Still, with over 200.000 registered users, they clearly offer a product worth considering.

Aboogy

Aboogy
Aboogy screenshot

With an account, you can log into Aboogy and use preset bookmarks to go to your favorite sites or add your own. This New Tab Alternative is not a bad one, even though we’ve seen better. The technology seems dated, there’s hardly any styling. It’s not even a fast site to load.

Performance

You can’t use Facebook or Google to log in, but the process is painless. You only need to confirm your inscription with your activation email. Once you’re in, you can add some new links and move them around. This doesn’t work flawlessly. All together, we can’t really endorse this product.

Features Aboogy

  • Easy login.
  • Most remarkable unique feature: inspirational quote.
  • Mostly text-based.
  • Some advertisements are present.
  • You can add bookmarklets to your bookmark bar, to send links, read later or quick save.

Compatibility

This site isn’t responsive, which makes it difficult to use on a mobile device. Logging in also took more time than we expected. Still, the fact that you see the same page on your mobile as on your desktop gives a familiar feeling.

Price

Fortunately, this service doesn’t charge any money. You can still donate some bitcoins if you want to. Is it worth trying out this service? Of course!

Blackhomepage

Blackhomepage
Blackhomepage

The Blackhomepage offers literally what’s in a name: a black background for your homepage. Easy on the eyes, they promise, and especially in dim-lit situations, this might be true. In real life, though, you might be happier with a bit of choice here. It’s no secret that Google only offers a white homepage, so there’s really nothing wrong with that.

Another less than obvious choice is the collection of links they provide. You see a lot of icons, some of them are the original ones, others are custom. The headings they use are also confusing: sometimes they use the original content, other times they use a more generic word like Weather, to link to the site Weathermetro. This choice feels arbitrary. At least, with 44 links, and no options to change any, and a promise of no tracking, this looks like a great basic homepage for anyone.

Performance

The great advantage of the radical choices behind the Blackhomepage is speed. It doesn’t take long to load it. also because it apparently uses a CDN service for quick delivery. Speed is guaranteed.

Features Blackhomepage

  • Dark theme.
  • 44 links to important websites.
  • Secure search through DuckDuckGo.
  • Clear Privacy statement, Cookie consent form, integration with social media.

Compatibility

This homepage seems designed to work on desktop or laptop computers only. On an iPhone, it loses most of its functionality, as the grid gets replaced by no more than 12 links. Not compatible.

Price

The price is right: this service is offered for free. It’s not entirely clear how this site makes its money, affiliate linking might be possible, but it’s not clear.