Have you ever wondered what the Web was like before the Mosaic Web browser? If you were born in the last 20-odd years, or you only discovered your inner geek recently, did you miss out on monochrome monitors and the dial-up BBS era? Well, here's your chance to get a sneak peek at history: grab the ChromeLite extension and marvel as the entire Web is transformed into ASCII characters.
ChromeLite was actually made by Google as an April Fools' joke -- and indeed, an annoying 'you can uninstall this!' message appears at the top of every page -- but we're kind of hoping that Google, or another developer, takes ChromeLite and turns it into a real ASCII browsing extension with configurable settings. If anything, it will provide an easy way to save bandwidth and CPU time.
Once installed, you simply type the letter s and press space to invoke a Google-powered site search for the domain you're currently visiting. The top five matches load in a flash, and you can also click through to Google via the top link for complete results. It's a fast, simple way to get results which are limited to a specific domain -- and as we know from experience, Google search is nearly always a lot better than most on-site search boxes.
Wikipedia Beautifier is an extension for Google Chrome that removes all the clutter from Wikipedia and lets you focus on the most important aspect of the online encyclopedia: its content. Wikipedia Beautifier has been inspired by Readability, and aims to provide the same amount of article-centered beauty, while also keeping the familiar navigation menus within reach.
Now that Google Chrome 11 has hit the beta channel, you can expect to see extension and Web app developers making use of the new HTML5 speech-to-text API. In fact, there's as least one slick extension you can already install: Speechify.
Install Speechify, and you'll see a microphone icon added into the search box on many popular sites -- like Google and Bing. Click it, and Speechify will convert the words you speak into text. You've still got to press enter or click to search, and an automatic submit option is definitely something we'd like to see added.
Hundreds of millions of people are now using Google Chrome as their primary Web browser, and a good chunk of those users have probably checked out extensions or Chrome Web apps by now. If you've ever wanted to share your favorites someplace -- like Twitter, Buzz, a favorite forum site, or even via your Gmail account -- there's a new extension out that makes the process dead simple.
Winning points for clarity with the name Share Extensions, the add-in will automatically create BBCode, HTML, Text, and Wiki markup detailing your chosen extensions. Each extension's Chrome Web Store URL is included, as is its name, and you can optionally include the developer's description as well.
I did have an issue sharing via Gmail when selecting several extensions at once, but the pop-up text generator worked just fine every time. Share Extensions also adds a browser action icon, but you can always right click to hide it or resize the action area and slide its icon behind the double-right arrows.
If you're a social networking butterfly, or if you have the malevolent aspirations of one day becoming a 'social media expert,' you almost certainly spend a vast amount of time surfing the Web. You probably use a modern browser like Firefox or Chrome, and you almost certainly have a ton of tabs open at the same time.
It can be hard work, keeping track of multiple websites. Hitting F5 is a pain in the ass -- and waiting those few seconds for a page to reload can be mighty frustrating. Then there's the matter of remembering all of your login names and passwords (because you don't use the same password on more than one site, right?)
Wouldn't it be great if there were some add-ons and extensions that could make light work of your surprisingly busy social networking lifestyle? Even if you only use Facebook or Twitter, there are still plenty of annoyances that could be offloaded to add-ons.
It might only be a couple of years old and its extension interface might not be quite as powerful as Firefox's, but in terms of developers, big-name publishers, and sheer numbers, Chrome already has a very healthy ecosystem of add-ons.
When you factor in Chrome's exclusive selection of Web apps, it's even possible to say that Chrome has a wider variety of extensions -- or at least until Mozilla launches its Open Web Apps later in the year.
Still, as always, the problem with add-ons is finding the right ones. You have thousands of add-ons to choose from, and only a handful that are actually worth using. First-time users haven't got a snowball's chance -- unless they read this list of must-have extensions!
But this list of extensions is for converts, too. With massive defections from Internet Explorer and Firefox, Chrome has grown from just a few million users in 2009 to over 120 million at the start of 2011. Firefox users will be especially pleased to find almost every add-on has a comparable extension -- and IE users... well, they'll just be glad to have any extensions at all.
Whether you are looking for helpers or shortcuts, or full-blown Web apps, you will be pleasantly surprised with the variety and power of Chrome's extensions.
When you are reading a long article, do you always feel tired of scrolling your mouse (or pressing the keyboard arrow key) to reveal the content under the fold? If you are using Google Chrome, there is an extension to help you tackle this issue.
TelePrompter is a simple extension that only do one thing -- set any webpage to autoscroll mode. When set, the webpage will scroll up or down by itself at a regular speed. You can switch the scroll direction with the mouse or keyboard shortcut and change the scrolling speed on the fly.
Here how it works
Install TelePrompter in Google Chrome.
Once the extension is installed, reload the web page you are currently at. Double click at any where on the page. The web page will now automatically scroll by itself.
As it auto-scrolls, you will see a slider just beneath the toolbar. You can drag the slider to increase/decrease the scrolling speed.
In its options page, you can configure the initial speed of the autoscroll and also the range of speed (the lower and upper limit of the slider).
This is a simple extension that allows you to sit back and enjoy your reading without having to bother about mouse scrolling. Is this a must-have extension? Nope. Will it save you time and make you more productive? Probably not. But if you enjoy giving your hand a momentarily break, yet not disrupting your workflow, this could be priceless.
It's called InstantFirefox, and it does precisely what you'd expect. Start typing in the Awesome Bar, and InstantFirefox refreshes the Google search results below in real time. The InstantFirefox experience isn't as smooth as what Chrome offers, but it's certainly a capable alternative for Firefox users.
Have you ever wanted to change the item listed in the context menu in Firefox and find that there are no ways for you to change it in the Preferences section? The Firefox browser comes with a list of preset items for your context menu and is supposed to be the most useful options during browsing. Since we all have different browsing habit, won’t it be great if we can rearrange the items in the context menu and add/remove items to enhance our efficiency?
Firefox does not comes with such option for you to change the context menu, so we have to rely on the menu editor extension to get the thing. With this extension, you can now edit your context menu (and any other menus), rearrange the options, hide the unnecessary and even add entry from other menus.
Install the menu editor addon from here. Alternatively, you can search for it in the Firefox Addon section.
Google Chrome is one of the fastest and easiest to use browsers developed till date. With a pile of useful Chrome extensions developed every day, nothing beats Google Chrome when it comes to customizing the browser and using it the way you want.
We have earlier discussed some Chrome extensions which help you spice up your browsing experience. Today we are going to see how to customize the new tab page of Google Chrome and add features that make it more useful.
The Default New Tab Page of Google Chrome
The default new tab page of Google Chrome lists the thumbnails of sites that you frequently visit. You can choose the Grid or Thumbnail view or choose a minimalistic list view to show the links of your favorite websites in the new tab page of Chrome.
Here is how the default new tab page looks:
This is cool, you can access the frequently visited websites with a click. There is also another bar in the page footer, which shows a list of recently closed tabs.
That’s it and nothing more. What if you want to customize the look and feel of the new tab page ? What if you want to add some sites or may be bookmarks as thumbnails in the new tab page ?
A few days back, we discussed some useful Google Chrome extensions that help you stay focused and be more efficient. If you are a social media addict and find it difficult to manage your social media profiles from the desktop or from the web, here are some Google Chrome extensions that might help.
All these extensions work from Google Chrome and you can manage your Twitter account, Facebook profile, shorten URL’s, Digg blog posts, watch YouTube videos and do many more interesting things.
Being a business owner, it is very common to spy on your competitors, see what they are up to so you can take proper actions to prevent them from snatching your market shares. This applies for websites and online business as well. You have to constantly check out your competitors’ site to see if they have make any changes or launch any new stuffs. In addition, you can also find out what tools that they are using and implement them on your site.
In Google Chrome, there are several useful extensions that you can use to spy on others. Here is it:
So if you are wondering why your competitor is ranking high in the search engine, check out their design structure and see what they are doing correctly.
BuiltWith Technology Profiler is a scaringly useful tool for analyzing the backend structure of any site (except https site). It can expose almost everything that you are running in the backend, from the OS you are using to host your server, the programming framework, the software you use to run your sites, the advertisement network you are running, the analytical tool you are using, the widgets that you placed in the sidebar and many more insidious information.
3. Chrome SEO
When you are done with the backend, it it time to go to the frontend. ChromeSEO allows you to find out the SEO aspect of a site. It shows a list of results, including number of pages indexed, ranking in Google pagerank, Alexa ranking, quantcast, number of backlinks, number of bookmarks etc.
If you don't need notifications for every Google services under the sun (as provided by One Number) and you're just looking for a solid GMail notifier for Google Chrome, have a look at the Google Mail Checker Plus extension.
I haven't encountered many Chrome extensions which utilize the desktop notification functionality, but what better place to put it to good use than a mail checker? Install GMC+, wait patiently for new messages to arrive, and you'll get slide-up notifications whenever a new message arrives in your inbox.
GMC+ also includes a long list of customizations via its options menu including audio alerts, ten different icon sets, and more languages than you can shake a stick at. Google apps accounts are also supported.
It's well worth adding to your Google Chrome install if you're a GMail user.