All new web browsers utilizes the empty space on a new tab to display a row of thumbnails of your most recently and frequently visited web sites. Opera calls this the Speed Dial, after the speed dial feature found in most phones, while other browsers simply call it the ‘new tab page’. In Firefox and Chrome, the new tab page is not very customizable. The extent of customization that is allowed on the new tab page depends on the browser you are using. In Firefox you can arrange the order in which the thumbnails appear and pin select sites so that they are always available. In Chrome, you can arrange the thumbnails but you cannot pin sites. This is why third-party speed dial/new tab page extensions are very popular among Chrome and Firefox users. However, they still lack the ability synchronize your speed dial across all your computers and devices. Currently, the only speed dial extension that supports this is FVD Speed Dial.
The ability to sync online is just one of the many perks of using FVD Speed Dial. This add-on is highly customizable and supports a range of features like custom backgrounds, custom dials, organized groups, most visited dials and more.
Initially, FVD Speed Dial will display your most visited websites, but you can replace the tiles with your preferred websites. The extension also lets users group sites into multiple speed dial pages and quickly switch from one page to another. For instance, you can create groups for social networking sites, blogs, news and whatever you find useful. Also available is a list of most visited sites, a list of recently closed tabs and a recover session button that lets you recover your last browsing session, that is, the pages that were open when you closed Firefox the last time.
Options for customizing the appearance of the speed dial page are plenty. You can set everything from dial size, dial opacity, background colors, background images, fonts, font size, and even minute things like whether or not to show the URL below each speed dials.
- Block by URL or Domain. This feature allows you to exclude unwanted URLs from appearing in your most visited Speed Dial group.
- Background templates (similar to wallpapers in Windows) in browser window.
- Mouse gestures for switching between sped dials and various viewing modes.
- Four thumbnail sizes: Big, Medium, Small, List (just a list for those who prefer a compact view)
- Several modes for setting the background image: Fill, Fit, Stretch, Tile, Center same as in Windows.
- Activate or deactivate Flash, Silverlight and Java Script when creating a screenshot for the Dial.
- Customizable page opening mode in the Speed Dial: in the current tab, in a new tab (Hotkey: Ctrl+Click), in a background tab (Hotkey:Ctrl+Shift+Click).
- Customizable number of rows in the Speed Dial. Auto mode available.