Google yanks Chrome's new visual bookmarks manager

Google is giving up on its latest refresh of Chrome's bookmarks manager, but the company isn't giving up on the idea of overhauling the feature.


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When Chrome introduced its new bookmark manager as an extension last October, we appreciated its tiled, Material Design feel. Alas, the rest of the web was not so taken with the new bookmark manager and Google is ripping it out of upcoming versions of Chrome.

“Our team is committed to improving Chrome’s bookmarks experience, but for the time being, we’ve decided to bring back the previous version,” a Google representative recently posted on the company’s forums.

Chrome will roll back to the older, tree-style version of the bookmarks manager. Google says it is not giving up and will continue to search for ways to improve Chrome’s native bookmark experience. For anyone who likes the new bookmark manager, Google will keep it as an extension in the Chrome Web Store.

Although the new bookmarks manager sure was pretty to look at, some users were not taken with its functionality. The complaints were best exemplified by Hong Kong-based developer Daniel Li who took to Medium to complain about the feature. Li said the tile-based bookmarks manager was slow to load, displayed fewer bookmarks at once, had a cluttered UI, and didn’t handle bookmark searches well.

In my experience, the feature loaded relatively quickly (although it wasn’t snappy), and search was just fine—Li’s Medium post was written in mid-April. To be fair, however, Li is clearly a bookmarks power user with a large collection that includes nested folders and other organizational tweaks. By comparison, I am a bookmarks lightweight. I never organize further than one folder deep, and the only bookmarks I turn to on an even semi-regular basis are sitting on my bookmarks bar.

Li wasn’t the only bookmarks hater, however, as many others also complained about the new bookmarks manager on Google’s forums. The bookmarks manager wasn’t particularly buggy and did the job it was designed to do, suggesting Google’s decision to trash it was largely based on user feedback.

The story behind the story: While many Chrome features hit all platforms, it often feels like the browser’s newer features are designed with Chrome OS in mind. It seems no coincidence that the touchable, tile-based bookmarks manager appeared just as touchscreens became more common on Chromebooks—not to mention Windows devices. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Google come back with another attempt at a touch-focused bookmarks experience.

[via The Next Web]

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