Incredible StartPage is a free Google Chrome extension that changes Chrome's start page to an attractively skinned theme. It's an interesting break from the usual Chrome interface and it adds some useful stuff, such as a note-keeping feature you can link to Google Mail and Calendar. Like many Chrome extensions, it's a work in progress; it does a lot but needs more.
We downloaded and installed Incredible StartPage in Chrome, opening a new tab to access the theme's settings, per instructions. Incredible StartPage created a new interface with our desktop items displayed in a scenic wallpaper image that resized automatically with the main interface and that scrolled through a variety of outdoor scenes when we clicked a pair of back-and-forth arrows. The note-keeping feature had the look of a 3D Post-It note, with a handwriting font and a link to Gmail and Calendar. Two boxes gave us access to recently closed Chrome tabs (up to 20) and quick access to the Bookmarks bar and Other bookmarks, with an option to select a new default bookmark source. There are two Options buttons, Theme and Advanced. The Theme Options let us choose or specify a background color, font colors (black or white only) and Wallpapers, with choices limited to the default cloud scene, several nature scenes, and a Custom option. We clicked this and received a small field for entering an image URL. We browsed to an image and copied its Web address into the selection field. The image appeared as the Chrome desktop picture in the Incredible StartPage display, though somewhat truncated and with no options for a better fit. Unfortunately, the program won't let you select images from your own picture library. The Advanced Options let us choose a Notepad font, the number of closed tabs to display, and whether to synch Notepad entries to our Google Account and to select either our Google Account or Google Apps Account to post them in.
Incredible StartPage has real potential, but we'd like to see some of the features most users expect in a desktop enhancement, such as local wallpaper and widgets. Chrome extensions are always evolving, though, and we expect Incredible StartPage to be around for a while.