Google Chrome Plug-Ins You Should Download Now
Google's Chrome Web browser is all about sleek simplicity. First introduced in 2008 and now boasting over 120 million users, Google has gone to great lengths to keep its interface uncluttered.
There are many extensions that can significantly enhance the browser without overtaking the interface. Whether referred to as an extension, a plug-in or an add-on, the free extras available for Web browsers can add useful features that enhance the online experience for users.
When Google made their Chrome browser public last fall, extensions were not yet ready, and users who were accustomed to adding features to their Firefox browser were hesitant to try Chrome until extensions were available. But in mid-December of 2009, Google opened their extension site. In three months, Google created one-third of the extension inventory that Mozilla took six years to compile.
Here's a look at some of the top plug-ins currently available for Google Chrome:
With more than 1.6 million users, AdBlocker is the most popular Chrome extension. And it does exactly what you would think: It blocks ads. From pop-ups to Facebook, the extension keeps the browser free of ads from all sites or individual ones, so it keeps the online experience seamless and uninterrupted. (Users can also specify if they prefer ads not to be blocked on certain sites).
Cooliris provides a three-dimensional way of viewing images from a website or even images located on your computer hard drive. Once the extension is installed, Cooliris integrates with image searches. For example, a Google image search of beaches resulted in 173 million results. Hover over any one of the photos and click on the Cooliris icon which will appear in the lower left-hand corner of the image. In less than five seconds, the results are transformed into a seemingly endless 3-D wall of photos to scan, enlarge and share. For those who use the online version of Microsoft Outlook for e-mail, adding IE Tab makes a dramatic difference.
Google Chrome Backup Extension
This tool backs up, restores and manages Google Chrome profiles. It also keeps track of all history, bookmarks and accidentally deleted items. The plug-in is especially valuable when a system crashes and restoration is needed.
Google Mail Checker
With nearly one million installs – averaging 56,000 each year – this extension makes life easier for Google Mail users so they don’t have to repeatedly reopen a new window to check e-mai l. The download displays the number of unread messages from a Gmail account, and a button can also be clicked to open the inbox.
Google Chrome Dual View
The Google Chrome Dual View is perfect for multitaskers. This plug-in can show two different sites side-by-side in the same tab. This lets users browse two pages at once, which is perfect for referencing results on Google or Yahoo, doing side-by-side product comparisons or referencing a webpage while writing an e-mail.
RSS Subscription Extension
This extension auto-detects RSS feeds that are available from a page in which a user is reading. When the plug-in finds one, it will display an RSS icon in the Omnibox, allowing them to click and preview the feed content and subscribe. The extension comes with four feed readers predefined (Google Reader, iGoogle, Bloglines and My Yahoo), but also allows users to add any Web-based feed reader to the list. The latest 2.1 version is now available in more than 40 languages.