Animated New Tabs

From Drake Panzer
Animated New Tabs
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Extension Git
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Animated New Tabs is a Chrome extension that replaces your new tab page with an animation of your choice. Right now, there's 147 animations for you to choose from.

Nobody uses this

I spent a long time trying to make this extension user-friendly, useful, and feature-packed. What's frustrating is that right now, only 250 people are using it. This extension has never had more than 450 users. I worked hard polishing Animated New Tabs to compete with some extensions in the same animated-new-tab-page category that had many more users than me, but I guess it didn't matter.

What's really annoying is that my extension "Clippy the Paperclip Assistant" has sat at around 1,000 users for years. That was my first extension and it really sucks. It literally injects the complete jQuery library into a page just to use one function from it. I didn't even create Clippy, it was a "weekend project" by some guys at a webdev firm.

I don't understand why more people aren't using Animated New Tabs. It has zero ads, minimal analytics, a simple design, it's feature packed, and has over a hundred animations to choose from.

Do they not like something about it? It's gotten only four reviews and only two of those have ratings. Both the ratings are five stars. The only written review is "I love this, good job!". There's no support requests. I'm really confused.

I would add more animation series and update the code but I'm not motivated to because my userbase is so static, even declining.


Why I created this

I noticed a lack of simple and clean extensions that replaced your new tab page with an animation. All the ones I saw only had one animation, useless features, or just were stupid.

Where are the animations from?

Codepen. Codepen is fantastic. It has so many cool creations on it and there are an almost endless supply of creative animations. Even better, they are all licensed under the MIT license which means I can do whatever I want with them.

Backend Server

The backend server is pretty simple. It stores a user's email, IP data, Google ID, the date they installed the extension, currently selected tab, and extension version. Some people might say that collecting a user's current IP and associated data might be privacy-invasive but I say it's better than including native Google Analytics integration that the Chrome Webstore pushes so hard.


Animation Sync

The best feature of this extension is the current animation sync: when ever you choose a new animation the new one is sent to the backend server so that when you download the extension to a new computer you don't have to be prompted to choose a new animation. When I created this extension I was using shared Chromebooks a lot and I found it really annoying to have to choose a new animation every time I logged on to one.

Privacy Mode

Don't like communicating with the backend server? You can turn it off.

Quick Bar

On the normal Chrome new tab page there is a row of useful links in the top right corner. A user mentioned that she missed having those links so I added an option to add them back.

Delete Your Data

You can delete your profile on the server and the data stored on the extension.

Request an Animation

I used to have a link to a form where you could request to have an animation included in the extension. I received mostly links to gifs on sites like Giphy (don't get me started on that site it sux lol) and Google Images. I removed it because I wasn't planning on adding any more tabs.