Sharkzapper for Chrome, however, is up to the task. Install the extension, and you've got drop-down control to skip forward or back, pause, and resume playback of your Grooveshark tunes. You can also adjust volume, add the current track to your library, like it, and search for other tracks to play. With a developer version of Chrome I couldn't see the text I typed in to the search box, but my Grooveshark tab came to the front and displayed results for Bloodhound Gang anyway.
Back in May, Google axed the offline mode in Google Reader. I didn't use it that often, but it was a nice way to catch up on tech news while I made the 6-hour trek to Winnipeg from my home in the North. Thankfully, there's a new Google Chrome extension called FeedStore which brings back offline reading.
Just install the extension and you're ready to go. FeedStore adds an icon to your browser actions area and notifies you when new unread items arrive -- and stashes a copy you can read later. The reading interface is somewhat customizable, allowing you to choose a font and change the type size and line spacing. There's a dropdown for custom styles, though only the default shows for now (which is nice and clean) -- hopefully we'll see additional options added.
The downside, of course, is that a lot of sites offer truncated feeds. It would be nice if future FeedStore versions could pull the full post from source websites.
Google's recently-released Chrome Toolbox extension takes care of the wallpaper niggle, and a new extension takes care of the history bit. It's called History Limiter, and it does exactly what it says and nothing else. Install History Limiter, open chrome:extensions, and click its options link. Specify the number of days you want to keep, and History Limiter will automatically empty anything older from your Chrome cache.
There are many, many extensions currently available for Google Chrome in the Chrome Extension Gallery -- over 8,000 in fact -- from both third-party developers and from Google themselves. Yesterday, Google announced the addition of official Chrome extensions for Google Calendar, Docs, and YouTube.
The Google Calendar extension adds quick access to your upcoming events and lets you add new events directly from websites like Facebook. A green plus sign will pop up indicating that it's found an event, allowing you to quickly insert it into your Calendar with location information if it's detected.
Google Docs gets a Web Clipboard extension that allows you to copy and paste text and images to and from the Google Docs online clipboard, for use across multiple browser windows. Handy if you're a heavy Docs user, as Matthew mentioned in his previous coverage.
Last but not least, Google's got a YouTube Feed extension that keeps an eye on your favorite videos and notifies you when new videos are available in your YouTube homepage feed. It also brings the social elements of ratings, likes and uploads from your friends to Chrome with direct access straight from the extension. Great for avid YouTube users.
These official Chrome extensions and many more are available, of course, from the Chrome Extensions Gallery.
No worries, however, with the Spot extension for Google Chrome. Just click the magnifying glass icon and start typing something you remember about the page and Spot quickly returns a list of matches. Just click a result to be taken to the tab. The results list is also keyboard-navigable for those who eschew excess mousing.
Spot's developer also says he's working on integrating Chrome history and bookmarks in future versions.
Download Spot for Google Chrome
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.
So you just hunkered down to read a glorious thousand-word epic about why the Web loves cats -- only to find yourself staring at hundreds of comments which ruined your reading experience with their harshness. If only you'd had some sort of filter for your browser which could hide those sections so you could read in peace!
There's shutup.css, which automatically blocks comments on every site it supports -- but for Chrome users, Comment Blocker is a much more flexible option. It not only blocks comment sections on most sites, but it also allows you to whitelist or blacklist URLs -- either individually, using the black and white buttons above, or by creating filter patterns in the Comment Blocker options.
Still, it's a bit more than I wanted. Give me a simple right-click, set-as-wallpaper option. And that's precisely what Mohamed Mansour has done. Witness: the Set image as wallpaper extension for Google Chrome! Right click, set image as wallpaper, and an HTML5 previewer appears so you can eyeball the finished product -- you can even choose to stretch, center, or tile your image. Future versions will include an options page that allows you to skip the previewer and simply perform a two-click image swap.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which OS you use) Mohamed's extension currently only works with Windows. Linux and Mac versions are being worked on.
By the way, there's absolutely no need to panic over MG Siegler's comments on TechCrunch that "someone fed the bloat trolls." Set as wallpaper only uses about 5MB memory -- the same as most other basic extensions. Clearly MG thinks that saving an image, locating it on disk, and then using OS X's built-in controls to set the wallpaper is a much more elegant way to do things.
As for me, I'll take my context menu enhancement, thanks.
Sure, most operating systems display the time, and the exertion required to figure out how far off 5:00PM is if your clock reads 11:15AM is pretty minimal... But there are days when the grind is all you can take and your brain simply can't handle that smidgen of additional thought.
Exhausted, you glance up at your browser for a little good news. 2:20 until you go home! Crap. That means two more hours of feigning interest and four more five-minute trips to the bathroom to kill time. But at least you had the G******n Work extension installed in Google Chrome to give you the heads-up.
I'd like to think that this is the kind of extension Fred Flintstone would use in his browser. You know, rather than waiting on that blasted bird to blare out the end-of-day signal.
For example, there's Typing Speed Monitor which I recently posted. When you install it, you'll receive the following alerts:
There's nothing to fear, however, because your data isn't going anywhere: "[Typing Speed Monitor] can't give that data to anyone else because it doesn't have permission to access other hosts."
Still, the alerts are offputting and even give more seasoned surfers cold feet when installing an extension -- which is where the alert above comes in. Michael Gundlach, who maintains AdBlock for Chrome, used Chrome's extension update support to push a reassuring note to its users about an upcoming change.
I've seen the "requires more permissions" alert before from an extension, but I haven't seen a dev take the time to explain to users what's going on. It's a smart, thoughtful move by Gundlach. Until Chrome offers more insightful (and accurate) alerts, developers might want to follow this example to avoid accidentally scaring their users.
Ever finished firing off a lengthy email and wondered, "Dang, I wish I knew how many WPM that was"? No, me either. But still, as a guy who writes a lot and often gets asked by people how fast I can type I just may give Typing Speed Monitor for Google Chrome a try and see what it tells me.
Install the extension and it takes residence in your browser actions area. As you type, it'll record your speed and monitor how often you press each key. In addition to good ol' QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak keyboard layouts are also supported. TSM's pop-up heatmap provides detailed stats about your typing including CPM, WPM, total time, and keypresses per key.
No, 61 really isn't that great... But go easy on me, it's six o'clock in the morning and I haven't had any coffee yet.
Maybe I should re-read Jason's post on how to touch type like a keyboarding ninja...
If Google Chrome is your browser of choice, the Send to Instapaper extension is exactly what you're after. Rather than merely replacing a bookmarklet with a browser action button, this extension adds an entry to your context menu. Right-click a link that you'd like to check out later on, and it's added to your queue.
You'll need to be signed in to your Instapaper account first, as the extension doesn't store your username or password.
Both new and used price history is displayed, and the extension also adds a notification box to the right side of the Amazon page. Set your target price, specify new or used, and Tracktor will let you know when it's time to buy!
Either way, I still find that Scribe just isn't all that handy for competent, speedy typists. You'll have moved on to your next word long before suggestions ever appear in most cases.
For Chrome users who type at a more modest rate of speed, however, the Scribe extension may very well be worth installing. If you find autcomplete helpful while texting on your cell phone, Scribe is probably right up your alley.
One gripe: the default activation hotkey is Ctrl+J -- which is the same sequence used to access Chrome's downloads page. How about making this customizable, Google?
One additional gripe: if you're typing into a field which already auto-suggests (such as tag fields on various Web apps like wordpress), Scribe could give you some grief. Make sure you turn it back off before typing in such fields.
Bonus points to the commenter who submits the most LOL-worthy comment created entirely with Google Scribe!
By default, SmartSelect can search selected text with Google, Google Maps/Directions, Dictionary.com, and Wikipedia. Adding new search engines is incredibly simple via the extension's options page. Just name your entry, paste in the appropriate search URL, and add [selected] where the highlighted text needs to appear.
Unfortunately, it's not so easy to add an icon for your newly-created search just now. If you want to add an icon, you'll need to drop a .PNG into the extension's folder (mine is located at C:\Users\Lee\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ppogmggnjkiajddfecpjbjicpcobmaefitem.0.2_0\img), and then enter the filename minus the extension on SmartSelect's options screen (download, not download.png).
You may also want to enable the Ctrl+click option to activate the extension; I found that the menu was a bit to eager to spring into action otherwise.
It's Chrome's second birthday today, and in addition to posting some fancy-schmancy images to celebrate Google Chrome's stable channel has been bumped to version 6. For those of you still keeping tabs on version changes, it's only been four months since Chrome 5 went stable.
The update means that all Chrome users can now take advantage of extension and autofill sync -- both important parts of Google's desire to keep your 'browsing platform' uniform across all the computers you use.
No announcement yet from the Chrome Blog, but we'll add a link once their official post has gone live. In the meantime, the Chromium blog has a breakdown of some of the more important security updates and feature additions.
Fortunately there's a new extension which can do just that. What?! An extension to peek under the hood of other extensions? Yep. It's called Extension Gallery Inspector, and it's pretty slick.
Install the Inspector and head to the Chrome Extensions Gallery. When you browse an extension's detail page, the lightning bolt icon will appear in your Omnibar. Click it, and Inspector will unpack the .CRX file and scan for API calls, permissions, and OAuth support. It also tells you the uncompressed size of the extension and whether or not it has an options page and browser action icon.
You'll obviously need a bit of technical knowledge to benefit from Extension Gallery Inspector as it stands right now. Still, for power users who want to know what an extension has access to -- or developers who are just curious how a particular extension works -- Inspector is a must-have Google Chrome extension.
One of the most talked about features in Safari 5 has been its Reader function -- Apple's built-in implementation of the Readability bookmarklet. Both are nice ways to reformat articles on blog or news sites for distraction-free reading.
If you like the look of Safari Reader but would rather not change from Google Chrome or Firefox, don't worry. The iReader extension brings the same functionality to your browser of choice!
Like Safari Reader, iReader shrouds the background in semi-opaque blackness . Hover near the bottom of the page to display zoom and print controls, as well as e-mail/Twitter/Facebook sharing buttons. iReader is also highly configurable -- set Gmail as your 'send page' client, change the display font, activate smooth scrolling, set the "curtain" to be more or less transparent, and adjust the reading area and margins. You can also choose hotkey combination to activate iReader (rather than having to click on the Omnibar icon).
There's a big crop new extensions showing up which take advantage of Google Chrome's new context menu API, and that's great news for those of you who can't live without your right-click menu.
You can see a pair of newer extensions in my screenshot -- and while I'm not certain I'll be using the tab switcher, Copy Short URL is probably here to stay.
Just right-click a link and left-click and a bit.ly or tinyurl shortened link is copied to your clipboard for hassle-free sharing on your favorite social sites. That's it. Nice and simple, just how I like my extensions!
The developer states that more truncators will be added soon, which would be a welcome improvement. API and account support would be a nice touch as well -- perhaps that will be tacked on as well.