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.
Just install SpellBook and use Chrome's bookmark manager to drop your bookmarklets into the folder the extension creates. Now when you want to fire up you favorite marklet, you can simply click your right mouse button, hover over SpellBook, and then click the one you want to execute. The extension also adds two-click access to the Chrome bookmark manager.
Looking for some handy bookmarklets to install, too? Check out our list of favorites -- and remember, they'll work in practically any Web browser!
Google's Chrome beta update brings with it a slew of goodies for the adventurous users who prefer slightly more cutting-edge features over tried-and-true stability. Version 10.0.648.82 hit the beta channel earlier today, and it affected just about every piece of the browser, from the settings interface to the rendering engine.
Browser settings are now opened in their own tab, as opposed to a separate window. The added space and cleaner layout that this provides is actually quite nice, and when you think about it, a browser that can use multiple tabs really has no reason to make new windows at all, so it just makes sense. One cool side-effect of moving settings into a tab is that they're actually browsable, meaning that if you get good enough at it, you can go directly to the page for certain settings just by using its address -- like "chrome://settings/advanced" or "chrome://settings/browser."
If you use access Gmail in Google Chrome on your computer, you can now view PDF attachments using Chrome's built-in viewer. The Chrome PDF plug-in is faster than the Google Docs previewer, its rendering accuracy is better, and you don't have to change settings anywhere for this to take effect. Just use Gmail in Google Chrome and the 'view' link will automatically open your file in the Chrome PDF viewer.
The change is also nice because Chrome's PDF plug-in actually lets you print, unlike the previewer which can only manage recursion printing (it generates a PDF of your PDF).
Google has made it clear that it wants to clean up its search results -- eliminating worthless cruft like the content farms which spam searchers with low-value (and often plagiarized) content. Now, the company has announced a new Google Chrome extension which they hope will aid in the fight.
Called Personal Blocklist, the extension allows Google Chrome users to blacklist certain domains when results appear in Google Search. Click the icon in the browser actions area to see which domains you've blocked, unblock a site, or edit its particulars.
At least one other Chrome extension which provides this functionality has been listed in the Gallery for some time, but the difference here is that blocks will be reported to Google. Google, in turn, will look at user data and possibly use that information to improve its search quality.
Install Personal Blocklist for Google Chrome, and start helping fight search spam!
I don't often need to open a PDF file, and when I do it's typically something I'm looking at in my Web browser. Since I'm using Google Chrome, the built-in PDF viewer is what I use 90% of the time. I do, however, get the odd email at my day job (where we don't use webmail) with a PDF attachment I need to read.
So I thought, "why not open those in Chrome, too?" It's easy enough to set up. Here's how to do it.
First, locate your Google Chrome executable. The easiest way to do this is to right-click your Chrome shortcut and choose properties from the menu. In the box labeled target, you'll see the complete path to Chrome.exe. Highlight that text and copy it to your clipboard.
One of the ways Internet Explorer 9 seeks to "bring the Web to your desktop" is by allowing sites to be pinned to your taskbar, and use jump lists to quickly and directly access specific parts of a website. A handful of big-name sites already offer Windows 7 integration, including Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Flixster, and IMDb.
Microsoft has also shared how this works (and Scott Hanselman has posted an excellent how-to article), so it's possible for other browser makers to implement, too. If you're a Google Chrome user, in fact, you can install an extension (developed by an independent programmer) which adds jump list actions to a drop-down menu on the Omnibar!
Unsurprisingly called IE9 Jump List Tasks, the extension adds a green arrow to the Omnibar whenever you visit a supported site. If jump list actions are detected, clicking the arrow will display a menu like the one you see above. It's not quite as cool as being able to poke your taskbar icons, but it is a neat display of how the feature can be utilized in non-IE browsers. The extension also didn't work for me on all the sites I tried -- Twitter and Facebook lists weren't detected -- but it was still cool to see it pop up elsewhere, like on IMDb and Flixster.
The extension is also very configurable, allowing you to show or hide the search box, move it to the top, limit the amount number of days of history to display, and more. Got another favorite quick-access feature for Chrome? Share it in the comments!
Roman Nurik has done it again. Nurik created the Android theme for Google Chrome, which has long been one of the most popular entries in the Chrome Extensions Gallery. Now he's released the next logical progression, a 'holographic' Honeycomb theme.
With inspiration taken from Android 3.0, Nurik's latest dumps the PCB pattern for diagonal stripes and blue-on-blue geometrics on the new tab page. It's every bit as well done as his original and we're curious to see if Honeycomb racks up as many installs as Android.
Google has already announced that it would be dropping H.264 support from Chrome, but some other key players in the browser arena aren't backing down. Microsoft, of course, is standing behind MPEG-LA's codec -- and now it's making sure that Chrome users will still be able to view HTML5 video embeds which are encoded with it. The magic will be handled by a new browser add-on called Windows Media Player Extension for HTML5. No, it's not a full-on plug-in -- which is kind of what we were expecting, given Microsoft's affinity for NPAPI tomfoolery.
To add the extension to your Google Chrome install, just visit Microsoft's download page and agree to the alert you see above.
Good news for Google Chrome users - the long-anticipated password syncing functionality has just popped up in the Developer version of the Google Chrome Web browser, which means similar support for users of the beta and stable versions of Chrome is likely to be just around the corner.
We were able to test the new syncing functionality this morning between multiple computers and encountered no errors or obstacles. Password syncing appears to be a go!
Spotted Earlier this Year in Settings, but Was Flaky
Although support for password syncing was spotted earlier this year in Chrome's settings by the folks at Download Squad, the implementation was flaky and wasn't working for all users, they reported. This latest update may hopefully deliver more stability to the feature.
According to the release notes for the Dev Channel build of the Chrome browser, linked to yesterday by the official Chrome Releases blog, a number of issues relating to password synchronization have now been addressed.
Message Appears on New Tab Page
In our case, we saw the badge indicating an update was available for Google Chrome. After performing the update and relaunching the browser, we noticed a note at the bottom of the New Tab page in Chrome indicating the feature. It read: "New! Google Chrome can now sync your passwords."
Clicking the link to enable the feature brought up a "Set up Sync" box where you must fill in your Google Account password. A second screen then appeared, offering you the option to encrypt your password data using either your Google Account password, or, for added security, a special "sync passphrase" - that is, a phrase or sentence that's harder to guess.
After updating from the Beta release to the Dev build on a second machine, we were then able to configure password synchronization from the settings on the additional device. To set it up, Chrome prompted for the passphrase we had just created.
Google made a minor tweak to the Gmail navigation links recently -- moving Photos into a more prominent spot and Reader into the More drop-down. While I wasn't particularly concerned (I've got Firefox hotkeys wired to most of my bookmarks for fast mouse-free access), the change created quite a stir on Twitter.
But as is usually the case, enthusiasts who don't want to accept changes on their favorite Web sites have already responded. If you want your Reader link back and you're using Google Chrome, grab the Put Reader Back extension. Once installed, just reload your Gmail tab to see the change.
Today browsing the MSN services, when i was using hotmail, this error was produced by msn servers, and i was wondering what is going on with windows hosting especially with the servers of one of the world’s top email service ‘Hotmail’.
In a strong, head-held-high missive, Adobe has detailed a new initiative to bring Flash local storage clearing to Web browser UIs. The new API, NPAPI ClearSiteData will let Firefox and Chrome users clear Flash's Local Shared Objects, or 'Flash cookies,' in the same way that you currently clear cookies and temporary Internet files.
LSOs are very commonly used throughout the Web, but unlike conventional cookies they're a little harder to delete. A lot of websites use them to track you across the Web, but they're also used by sites like YouTube to store your video preferences.
Google has just dropped a bomb shell: Chrome will no longer support H.264 HTML5 video playback. The open-sourced WebM (VP8) and Ogg Theora video codecs will be the only options for HTML5 video. H.264 will not be dropped immediately, but probably with the next stable build of Chrome.
Google cites plenty of damning reasons for the exiling of H.264. Open codecs are improving faster, thanks to the contributions of "dozens of developers"; open codecs are more readily adopted by browsers and hardware vendors; and most importantly, codecs like WebM and Theora are free. Free from patents, free from licensing fees; free to use however you like.
Mozilla stated a few months ago that Firefox would never support H.264, which now leaves just Internet Explorer 9 as the sole supporter of H.264 HTML5 video. IE9 also supports WebM, however, which means H.264 will hopefully just fade away into patent-encumbered nothingness -- or perhaps Flash, which will still support H.264 video, has finally found its HTML5-era niche.
In other news, frothy blogger John Gruber mentions that this will force publishers and broadcasters to use Flash, or force them to re-encode their content for WebM delivery. The fact is, these companies don't want to distribute their content via HTML5 video. Flash, with its DRM and P2P, is a far more suitable platform for commercial broadcasting. Flash also has the advantage of being universally installed -- again, let's not forget that Firefox never intended to support H.264, and has a much larger market share than Chrome.
Update: apparently Safari also has native support for H.264 video, via WebKit rendering engine.
When Google made the decision to introduce an in-tab bookmark manager for Chrome, it only made sense that other personal pages -- like your settings -- would move to tabs as well. A tabbed options page for Chrome began taking shape in July 2010, when we shared a video of the feature working in Chromium. Now, it's become the default in Chrome Canary.
It's just as easy to get around in the tabbed settings page and perhaps a little easier, since the search field allows you to find specific settings instantly -- and we do mean instant. As with Google Instant in the Omnibar, Chrome will load settings which match your input in real time in the righthand pane. The search function will even pull in portions of separate settings pages, which you can see in the screenshot after the break.
And as you can see in the screenshot, there's an extension that does a nice job of integrating the contents of your bookmarks bar. Install "Bookmark list in context menu" and you've got two-click access to your favorite sites. It's a nice alternative to the horizontal bookmark bar, especially on smaller screens where every pixel counts. As its author points out, it's also a handy way to open bookmarks in full screen mode -- when there are no toolbars to click on.