In the latest version of Chrome, 30.0.1599.69 m, the new tab page was redesigned.
It now shows the eight most visited websites of the user. Google Search box appears at the center of the page as well as Google Plus, Gmail, Images shortcut links, Notification icon and Google Apps menu at the top-right corner.
Before, users can easily change what appears in a new tab, either Apps page or Most Visited Page Lists, but it is now fixed in the new design. There is no option under Settings to modify it.
A New Way to Access Apps in Chrome
Installed Apps can now be accessed through the Bookmarks bar. See screenshot below.
It now appears automatically below the address bar, also known as the omnibox, when ever a new tab is opened. Sometimes, it doesn’t. It takes a few tabs before it appears again.
This issue can be resolved by configuring bookmarks bar to always show under Settings > Bookmarks > Show Bookmarks bar or go to Settings > Appearance then tick ‘Always show the bookmarks bar’
Show Apps or a Blank Page in a New Tab
Alternatively, users can still switch back or reconfigure new tab to load the Apps page by using a third-party extension like New Tab Redirect. This free Chrome extension allows users to modify what appears on a new tab by means of redirection. For example, a local file, browser history, downloads, a website and etc
To load the Apps page using it, enter chrome://apps/ in the URL box in the extension options page then click Save.
To show a blank page on a new tab, clear the URL box then Save.
This workaround will override the new tab page design and will take effect immediately.
It will bring back the user capability to perform a quick search as well. The entered text or keywords will go straight to the omnibox right after a new tab is opened.