December 12, 2009

My Favourite Chrome Extensions

I always used to wish Chrome had extensions like Firefox. But then I was thankful Chrome did not have extensions because whenever I think of Browser Extensions I remember the time it used to take Firefox to load with all those Extensions. In fact the endless loading time is one reason why I left Firefox and started using Chrome. I always had to wait for at least for 15 minutes before Firefox initialized the Extensions or Add-ons or what ever they call it and then checked for updates and was ready for me to use. That was when the lightening speed Chrome came along and I instantly fell in love with this sleek browser that saved a lot of screen real estate and loaded faster than any browser that existed on my system. However, I always secretly wished for some of the cool extensions I had on Firefox.

And then Chrome Extensions came along! Yes, you require a developer version of Chrome if you want to use Chrome Extensions. But then, Chrome Beta is one good way to keep in touch with the new things the browser offers and there is no harm in using it. I went around trying most of what was available on the Chrome Extension Site and finally realized a few key things about what makes a Good Browser Extension.

  1. A good browser extension is not just another bookmark! Most of the Extensions we have on Chrome are simple bookmarks which, if you click on them, take you to some websites. If an extension works like a bookmark, then why do I need it?
  2. A good browser extension must do what the browser can not! For example, Google has an Omnibox that lets me do both search and browsing from one place. Google also allows me to decide which search engine provides me the results I seek using Omnibox. Then, why would I need another extension that offers to help me do search with different search engines?
  3. A good browser extension must enable me to do certain things without leaving the browser window! This is the major factor that decides if I like an extension or not. I like an extension that allows me to do things without disturbing my browser experience. 
Now, these are the factors based on which I have selected my current favourite Chrome Extensions.

This extension allows you to see your Facebook News  Feed, Wall and Notifications without leaving the Current Tab. One click and the extension opens a pop up that lets you read the feeds on Facebook. It also allows you to update your status or let your friend know that you liked what he or she said. My only issue with this Extension is that it does not allow me to comment on what my friends say, though the comment link is available along with the feed.

Chromed Bird allows you to follow your timelines and interact with your Twitter account without leaving the Current Tab. One click and you can update your status, see your feed or @ Mentions or Direct Messages and retweet what your friends are up to. An option to create short url adds value to the extension. Initially I used to get an error message when the extension loaded. But now it works perfectly fine.

Chromepad is a note taking extension which I love using. I do not have to leave the browser and open a notepad if I want to take something quickly down as I am browsing. For example, I am browsing and a phone call came and I have to take down a phone number. I just have to click Chromepad open and type the number in. I don't have to even save what I type and recall it any time I want to. It is one of the cleanest and well designed Chrome Extension I have ever come across.

Google Tasks
Google Tasks allows you to recall your Google Task list without leaving your current tab. You can do everything that you do with Google Task when you open it in your Gmail or use it as a widget on iGoogle. The best thing about this extension is the fact that you can use the Google Task as liked to your account or you can use it as an extension specifically for your browser. You can also open Google Task as a seperate window.

Google Quick Scroll
Quick Scroll is Google's contribution to Chrome Extension. It works in the background, unlike most of the Extensions that appear next to the Omnibox. It helps you find what you are searching for faster and has the ability to decide if it must intervene with your search. When Quick Scroll decides to help you with your search it will appear at the bottom of the page leading you to the exact place on a web page where your key word can be found.

What do I like about Chrome Extensions?
Following are the things I like about Chrome Extensions:
  1. I like Chrome Extensions because it loads as soon as it is installed. I don't have to restart the browser to see how the new Extension is working
  2. I like Chrome Extensions also because they do not affect the Browser loading time.
The only thing I may not like is when third party extensions have the power to keep track of my browsing history and data.


  1. Hey guy i think you missed one very usefull extension. the chrome deal showing you discont codes for every site you visit. see

  2. Hey anonymous guy, I don't think I missed it. I don't think discount sites and free offer sites are of any interest to me. Because they are usually spam and scam sites :)


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