One of my primary complaints against Google Chrome has been that it is too bare-bones. Chrome Plus partially solved that problem by adding a couple of much needed features. However, as the Google Chrome API continues to mature we are beginning to see more and more extensions/add-ons being developed for Chrome itself. Here are nineteen really sweet extensions which will take Google Chrome a step closer to being the perfect browser.
In order to use the extensions mentioned below you will need to download and install Google Chrome developer build. You can also use Channel Changer to ensure that you get updates from the developer channel.
LastPass is a form-filler and password manager which truly kicks ass. In fact it makes RoboForm – the granddaddy of password managers, look shabby. An absolute must have in my opinion.
Sessions were pioneered by Opera in 1996. They provide a useful way to save a group of tabs which can be reopened at one go whenever required. Now, Session Saver brings the same feature to Google Chrome.
Mouse Gestures is another Opera Innovation. Gestures allow users to perform various tasks with simple mouse movements. ChromeGestures is a simple add-on which adds support for mouse gestures in Chrome. Mouse Strokes is another similar extension. However, it is slightly buggy and requires more polishing. Another promising plug-in is nkGestures. However, I haven’t tried it yet.
This tiny extension adds support for smooth scrolling in Google Chrome. SmoothScroll eliminates sudden jumps while scrolling and reduces eye strain.
This rather novel extension emulates touch-screen navigation in Google Chrome. Once this extension is installed, clicking anywhere on the page will activate the scroll mode which allows scrolling by simply moving the mouse up and down. Scroll mode can be disabled by clicking again.
This is a rudimentary web developer tool for Chrome. It merely displays the source code and css for the selected webpage. While it can’t compete with web developer tools available in other browsers, it is useful none the less. Hopefully, more features will be added in the coming days.
Xmarks is a bookmark synchronization tool which allows you to carry your bookmarks wherever you go. It currently works on Firefox, Safari and Chrome.
IMacros allows you to record and replay repetitive tasks. This requires some work to get started. However once properly setup, it can be a huge productivity booster.
It is a simple extension which goes through your bookmarks and ensures that they are still alive.
If you have ever used Internet Explorer’s Accelerators, you will feel right at home with Cleeki. It allows you to instantly search/publish/share text from a webpage.
This is a work in progress and currently supports downloading video from Youtube, Break.com and Blip.TV. The biggest shortcoming of this extension is that it doesn’t recognise multiple formats supported by YouTube. So, you may end up downloading the low quality version even when a HD video is available. If you only want YouTube support then you would be better served by Grabbit. Grabbit utilises KickYoutube.com and hence supports all the formats offered by YouTube (and some more).
13. Bubble Translate
Bubble Translate uses Google Translate API to provide inline translations in Google Chrome.
I am sure that StumbleUpon will add support for Google Chrome in the future. But till such time StumbleNow is the best option for Chrome users.
15. Web Of Trust
Web Of Trust (WOT) is a community driven service which rates the trustworthiness of websites and warns the users about potential phishing sites. This add-on enables WOT in Google Chrome.
AniWeather stands for Animated Weather + Any Weather and is the definite weather extension for Google Chrome. It displays in-depth weather information for more than 77,000 worldwide locations.
[Note: Google Chrome Dev builds also include Greasemonkey support out of the box. However, it isn’t enabled by default. LifeHacker has a nice article on enabling Greasemonkey in Google Chrome]
A simple add-on which blocks all Flash elements present in a web page. While it works mostly as advertised, there is room for improvement. Support for whitelists is something I would like to see in the near future. You can also use BlockFlashPlus Usescript (userscripts must be enabled).
Extension Manager isn’t really an extension. It is a separate application which allows you to enable, disable or even delete Google Chrome extensions. It even supports profile backup and restore. It also provides a convenient way to enable Greasemonkey Userscripts in Google Chrome. In case you don’t need to manage extensions and simply want a tool to backup profiles FavBackup should suffice.
Are you using Google Chrome extensions? If yes, what is your favourite extension? Did we miss your favourite extension? Don’t forget to let us know.