Extending the Chrome: 9 Extensions Worth Knowing

Just before Christmas Google Chrome for Mac & Windows got an update – (the Windows one sadly the more exciting however recent rumblings suggest Mac soon to follow) in the form of Extensions and Shared Bookmarking.

A note firstly on Shared Bookmarking – a clear step at carving another chunk out of the Apple Safari / Mobile Me proposition – allows Chrome and Chromium users to share their bookmarks made in browser across multiple machines using their Google account. A nice little addition however as soon as you dive into the extensions you soon realise this is minor (if not redundant) news – a the first of my 9 Worth Knowing sorts that out far more effectively.

Delicious

This is nothing new, you login to Delicious, it remembers your details, gives you a button next to the address bar. Click it and it will bring up the standard Delicious tagging option. Like I say – nothing new, but interesting as Delicious far outstrips Chrome for organising and syncing bookmarks across multiple machines (and Mobile Me for that matter), therefore making my previous point redundant. Sorry for the wasted time spent reading that.

Google Wave

Another neat little notifier, providing a little icon to let you know how many messages/waves (still haven’t made my mind up what to call them) are unread in your GWave account. However seeing that no one seems to know what to do with Google Wave, there is a bigger issue at play here.

Google Sidewiki

Sidewiki has made headlines, not least with a number of my clients, worrying that consumers will start slander campaigns in the footnotes of Sidewiki all across their websites – a fair concern, but an unlikely reality I feel. However for those who are worried about the sanctity of their sites, the Sidewiki extension is a good option for keeping track of what is going on, along with picking up handy titbits about services (I recommend checking out the SideWiki comments about Twitter & Facebook – interesting stuff).

NPR (National Public Radio)

This is my second fave at the moment, not only am I a bit of a Yank-O-File – but an avid fan of the US’ NPR network (All Things Considered / Planet Money and This American Life to be precise). This little extension gives you single click access to the best audio and text content from NPR, with in-built streaming of audio and the ability to customise tabs by category. Very well done.

Google Mail Notifier

Much the same as the Google Wave Notifier above, this extension is great if you are a GMail user like myself, and gives handy updates for those who prefer to use the web interface rather than running yet another IMAP or POP account out of OutLook or Mail.

Clip to Evernote

Evernote. Currently revolutionising my thought arrangement process seamlessly integrates into the Chrome browsing experience with this simple point and shoot Clipper. Select text, an object or image, click the little Elephant Icon and away you go. Opt to select just text or capture the whole content of a page.

Google Similar Pages

This is a very interesting one. Similar Pages from Google working of the “related search” and “wonderwheel” search tech, will give you 4 options of “similar pages” to those you are browsing according to what other pages share similar search terms as the one you are viewing. Confused? Don’t be. Ignoring the tech it does what it says on the tin, however for more niché sites its a little on the buggy/non-existent side in its recommendations.

Feedly

MY OUT AND OUT FAVORITE. If like me you find Google Reader great as a standard, but rubbish as a reading/usr experience, then I cannot recommend Feedly high enough (full review coming in due course). All I will say for now is that take the pleasure of reading a magazine + the content of your RSS collection = feedly. This is about as close to the offline browsing experience as I have found to date. Add in the experimental “karma” project, to see how the links you tweet are shared around, and you have a truly fantastic app.

I include this in my extensions to look at – however it deserves far more attention that being 1 in a list of 9.

Send to GMail

Well this does what it says on the tin. Select text, click the button and send it to the body of an email using your Gmail Account. Those using Google Apps on their site have additional functionality in being able to customise the subject line or start text of the email. Other than that – a good utility for the GMail user.

So there we have it – try them out, and let me know if you have any you think are worth a look in/review.

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One response to “Extending the Chrome: 9 Extensions Worth Knowing

  1. Another one that useful is the IE Tab extension. Let’s me work out of Atlas without having to leave the comfort of Chrome and quickly check how a page might look in IE.

    I haven’t used it long enough to flag up faults or know if there are any rendering issues but could come in handy.

    http://www.chromeextensions.org/utilities/ie-tab/

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