At some point, the web browser market appeared to have settled down into a battle between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox. But that was before Google’s Chrome came along. Thanks to Google’s position as the most influential brand on the Web, it would not be unfair to say that Chrome’s rapid rise to the top was to some extent a result of Google’s profile. However, that would only be half the story – Chrome has developed a reputation for speed and ease of use that has seen web users hooked in droves.
Yet there are a number of Chrome extensions that can make one’s browsing experience that much better, safer and fun.
1. Google Mail Checker – Find yourself going back to your Gmail tab to confirm whether you have any new messages? With Google Mail Checker extension, you no longer need to. It indicates the number of unread mails you have even if you do not have a Gmail tab open. If you need to access your mail, you need only click on the Google Mail Checker button.
2. Send from Gmail – Every internet user has clicked on an email and had to agonizingly watch (especially if using a slow computer) as Microsoft Outlook, as the default email application, automatically launches. With the Send from Gmail extension, clicking an email address will instead launch a Gmail browser window. This is obviously most convenient for Gmail users.
3. RescueTime – Have you ever thought that you might probably be spending too much time on the web but just can’t place a finger on it? Probably the main reason you were not so sure was because you did not know what was ‘normal’. The RescueTime extension not only indicates how long you spend browsing but also compares your habits with those of other RescueTime users. You then get a productivity score just so you know where you lie.
4. Title Time Tracker – Somewhat similar to RescueTime only that it focuses on the amount of time you spend on each page and does not distribute the information nor use it for comparative analysis against other Title Time Tracker users.
5. Web2PDFConverter – Want to save the content of a web page to your PC for later reading or for easy email distribution? The Web2PDFConverter extension allows web users to convert web content to PDF. That includes SSL sites, something that has proved difficult for other web-to-PDF converters in the past.
6. Last Pass – Finally, a solution for the numerous user ids and passwords that the ordinary internet user must remember. LastPass stores your username and password for websites you specify. When you need to log in, LastPass can automatically fill your details so that you do not need be stranded or waste time because you cannot recall a password.
7. StayFocusd – All of us Facebook addicts might find this one particularly useful. This extension limits the time you spend on websites that you designate as ‘time-wasters’. Once you exhaust your time allotment for the day, the website will remain blocked for the rest of the day.
8. Brizzly – Okay, now that we have mentioned a potentially anti-Facebook and anti-Twitter extension, it is only fair to mention a ‘pro’ extension. The Brizzly extension makes the use of Facebook and Twitter a breeze. Share photos, lists, videos and searches with ease.
9. After the Deadline – An interactive style, spelling and grammar checker that includes contextual checks and scanning for often confused words.
10. Auto Copy – If you want text automatically copied to the clipboard immediately you select it, Auto Copy is the extension for you. It has options that allow you to specify whether you want the copied information in plain text, HTML etc.
11. Snippy – Another extension for copying content only that Snippy goes a step further than Auto Copy. This extension allows you to capture snippets of a web site, store them for future retrieval and even post them to Google Docs. The snippet grabs the content in its rich form, retaining the formatting thus allowing one to preserve the images and paragraphs with no distortion.
12. AdBlock – Do not tolerate those flashing ads on the edges of websites you visit. Ad-Block removes the ads from a good proportion of sites you visit allowing for an easier on the eyes and less cluttered browsing experience.
13. Click & Clean – Ideal if you are using a shared computer. Clearing browsing history is good but never enough. Browser’s store a lot more information on the computer itself that is not too hard for anyone that is interested locating it. The Click and Clean extension gets rid of every web temporary file, cookie, download history and every other aspect of your browsing history.
14. View Thru – Shortened URLs have become notorious for concealing websites whose URLs users may not ordinarily click through. With the ViewThru extension, have a peek at the actual page behind a tinyURL or bit.ly link before you click on the link.
15. SiteAdvisor – Yes, security is an important aspect of a pleasant browsing experience. McAfee’s SiteAdvisor extension keeps you on the path of lowest risk by alerting you on the safety (or lack thereof) of a page you are about to visit.