Got a surprise this evening when my Chrome got an update and the "new tab" page then showed the Google search form and some of the latest visited websites as thumbnails. I never used them before but the apps icons where I have Tweetdeck (sic!), G+, Search, REST client and stuff located. Now these apps are moved to a small icon in the bookmark pane on the upper left. So you have to do one click more to access the apps. Aweful!
Never change a winning team
If you are also bothered by the new UI then just do this:
Open the page chrome://flags and search for the term "Instant Extended API" and set the value from "Default" to "Disabled". Restart Chrome and... welcome back, app icons!