Fauxbar is a Chrome extension which replicates the features of the Firefox AwesomeBar (address bar) – existing Chrome users could certainly benefit from better and quicker searching.
Chrome’s Omnibox still lags behind the Firefox AwesomeBar in features and ease of use. The extension is also useful for Firefox users who switch to Chrome and find its Omnibox somewhat lacking in comparison.
Fauxbar makes Chrome’s New Tab page act like Firefox’s Awesome Bar – it lets you quickly and accurately locate the following:
- Top websites
- Search engines
- Currently opened tabs
- Commonly-used Chrome options and pages
Results are ranked using Mozilla’s ‘frecency’ algorithm – just like Firefox. You can add and use the search engines of your favorite websites and Fauxbar shows tiled thumbnails for your top websites and installed Chrome apps. It also includes auto-typed completion of URLs (introduced in Firefox 14 this month) and Keyword Search (see how to activate it).
Keyword Search means that Google searches in the address bar will search by name and go straight to the right website if available – instead of just performing a standard Google search. E.g. a search for ‘New York Times’ saves time by going straight to the nytimes.com website.
Using Fauxbar – Install from Chrome Web Store here. To use Fauxbar, simply open a new tab or click the orange Fauxbar icon beside Chrome’s Omnibox:
The new Fauxbar ‘new tab’ page will appear, ready for your search:
Alternatively, you can use Fauxbar within Chrome’s Omnibox itself – focus the cursor in the Omnibox then press F and Spacebar at the same time as shown below:
Note – in the picture above you can see Fauxbar’s Tabs/History etc menu bar – this is a useful drop down menu of commonly used Chrome features and functions. It also includes quick access to Bookmarks, Apps, Extensions, Chrome tools and Fauxbar options.
Fauxbar has more than 60 different configurable options and you can backup, restore, and/or reset options.
Tip: if you prefer to keep Chrome’s New Tab page as it is, you can install Fauxbar Lite instead – this is the same extension except it does not replace Chrome’s New Tab page.
Fauxbar is an awesome AwesomeBar addition to Chrome.
Whilst you can use it without changing any options, there are plenty of ways to configure it to meet your own requirements – it is worth reading the Overview on the download page to understand all the features available.
Those used to Firefox will no doubt love the Fauxbar extension – those who haven’t used Firefox and don’t know what they’re missing may be in for a pleasant surprise.