Extensions to Make Chrome Work for You

If you’re like me, you eagerly tried out Google Chrome right when it came out, but the lack of Flash support was an absolute killer.  So now I wander back every once in a while (especially when Firefox is crashing).  I like Chrome, and it does seem to run faster (a big concern of mine since I function without broadband Internet at home).  However, the fact that Google Bookmarks did not work with Chrome was a game-stopper.  I use my Google Bookmarks as a “to do” list of sorts, marking links with various labels for the sole purpose of adding them to digital maps or looking them up for articles later.  These are not public collections, nor do I want them to be and I plan to start using it regularly now.

To make a longer blog post short, I just discovered that the extension ecosystem around Google Chrome is now far more robust than it used to be.  Some of these Chrome add-ons (called extensions) are essentially beta (use at your own risk), but Chrome is now a viable option for me.

  • Google Bookmarks can be synced with Chrome using this GBX Google Bookmarks Extension, but Chrome bookmarks (if you have them) cannot be backwards synced.  Yes, there is one for Delicious too.
  • Add a Readability button using this extension.  In one click of the Readability button, you can turn an article with text, ads, and pictures to nothing but easy-to-read text in the default size, color, and background that you choose.
  • If you regularly tweet, like, or email webpages to friends, you might like the ease of Shareaholic, and it too has an  extension for Chrome.  I tried the bit.ly extension, but it seems to be a bit buggy and I wasn’t impressed.
  • Not so long ago, someone told me about AdBlock, which is when I realized that not everyone was being forced to look at the poorly-designed graphic images and animations in Facebook.  There is some ethical quandry about whether it is morally right to block the ads, which are, in fact, keeping the websites funded.  Take it or leave it, I like AdBlock and here’s the extension for Chrome.
  • It used to be that you could only get the cool 3-D wall view of images from Cool Iris in Firefox, but (yay!) this extension is also available in Chrome now.
  • For a totally, indulgence-only extension, try Turn Off the Lights, which you can click to darken the rest of the screen when you’re going to show a video, just like you’re in the movie theater (find this here).
  • Many a time I have been working on a blog post or a conference proposal submission when something causes the browser to crash.  When that happens, you can lose all the carefully worded thoughts you’ve typed in the text boxes.  Well, not if you’re using Lazarus: Form Recovery (not recommended for Mac/Linux yet), which autosaves all those important thoughts.  Here’s the Lazarus extension.

Honestly, I don’t see anything else that is must-have, but maybe you know of some Chrome extension that we should check out?

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  1. [...] this a major update to the list of Chrome Extensions I compiled in 2010.  Here are a few of my recent favorites that might be useful to [...]

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