Ten Awesome Chrome Browser Addons
I'm just getting started with Chrome, after becoming fed up with both Internet Explorer and Firefox. What addons do you recommend to make it even more useful? I'm especially interested in productivity apps and things that integrate with other tools on the web.
Try These Chrome Browser Addons
You're not alone... the Google Chrome web browser has been gaining ground on its two main competitors, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox. StatCounter, one of many sites that tracks browser popularity, even put Chrome in the number two spot ahead of Firefox by the end of 2011. Part of the reason for Chrome's climb in market share is the increasing availability of useful addons or extensions for Chrome.
I'll say up front that I use Firefox most of the time. I do fire up the Chrome browser on occasion, and it's very slick. (See my related article Is Chrome the Best Browser?) But while doing the research for this article, I have to say that I am sorely tempted to switch to Chrome, or at least use it alongside Firefox. Take a look at ten of my favorite Chrome addons, and you might find yourself switching from Internet Explorer or Firefox, too!
Xmarks is a must-have extension for Web surfers who switch browsers frequently. Installed in Chrome, it syncs the browser bookmarks that you always want available to a storage spot in the cloud, and automatically makes those bookmarks available to whatever browser you are currently using. You can even set up profiles for different browsers you use for work or personal surfing, so that only a subset of your bookmarks collection is available in each different setting. Whether you switch PCs, reinstall your OS, or change browsers, your bookmarks remain safe in the cloud without worrying over backups and importation.
IE Tab is essential for those all-too-frequent occasions when you must access a site via Internet Explorer or not at all. It's fairly incredible that some webmasters still create sites that only work when viewed with Internet Explorer, when it's the preferred browser of less than 40% of users. But until these dinosaurs are extinct, IE Tab will open a new tab in Chrome, and uses the Internet Explorer rendering engine to display a specified page or site. You can set IE Tab to always use IE when displaying a particular site, so you don't have to invoke IE Tab manually every time you visit that site.
LastPass is an improvement on Chrome's built-in "remember password" feature. It lets you save passwords to the cloud regardless of what browser you are using. You have the same master list of passwords available to you whether you are at home or work, using Chrome or another supported browser. A master password lets you access your cloud-stored list. LastPass can even auto-log you onto specified sites.
Angry Birds is a game that was popularized by smartphone and tablet users. But you no longer need a fancy mobile device with an expensive data plan to enjoy the fun of launching projectile birds and killing those annoying green pigs. The Angry Birds app can be installed right in your Chrome browser. In fact, you might find it an even better experience on your desktop, since there's more screen real estate, and you can control the game with your mouse instead of less precise finger swipes on a touchscreen. (There are tons of other browser games you can play in Chrome, if you've got time on your hands, or just need a break.)
Autonito automates the nifty Incognito browsing mode of Chrome for any site you specify. It's ideal for the absent-minded surfer who may forget to start Incognito mode before visiting a site that you'd prefer to surf in privacy. Just build you list of Incognito sites in the extension, and don't worry about invoking Incognito mode manually ever again.
Google Chrome to Phone is handy for Chrome users who have Android smartphones. This app will send web links, maps, and phone numbers to your Android device. For example, you can send a Google maps link from your desktop's Chrome browser, and have it open on the phone. This is great for sending driving directions to your mobile device. You can also highlight a phone number in Chrome, and tell your phone to dial it.
Google Translate will translate an entire web page into another language, with a single click. You can even configure the Translate app to detect when a page is written in a language other than your default, and automatically translate it for you.
Picnik is a set of powerful photo editing tools that work right in your browser. Crop, rotate, resize, or sharpen an image. Change exposure, colors, or add text. Do touch-ups, add effects, or frame your photos. You might even decide you don't need Photoshop! Picnik easily connects to photo sharing sites like Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, and Facebook.
Awesome Screenshot lets you capture the screen, or just a portion of it, and save it as a graphic file. Annotate your screenshot with text, arrows, circles or rectangles. You can crop the image, erase stuff you don't want to show, and then save the file. Or paste it right into a Gmail message. Brilliant.
Evernote lets you turn your all computers and phones into an extension of your brain. Use Evernote to clip interesting webpages, images, PDFs, or snippets of text. Excellent for researchers who want to save their notes and have them available and searchable on any device. You can even create to-do lists, or search for words inside PDFs or photos. Evernote works on the Windows or Mac desktop, as well as iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 9 Jan 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Ten Awesome Chrome Browser Addons (Posted: 9 Jan 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved