It isn't particularly difficult to start a torrent download, but if you're not at your main computer, starting a download and controlling your queue from afar can be a pain. Install one of these browser extensions in Chrome or Firefox to streamline your BitTorrent downloads, letting you monitor your torrents from any computer and start new ones with one click. More »
It has only been several weeks since Google+ opened its door to limited users and it has already created plenty of buzz. While many people still have not gotten their invites, there are already 10 million users on the platform and a billion items shared per day. If you find yourself terribly addicted to Google+, Here are 15 Google Chrome extensions that make using Google+ a better experience.
Is the Google+ design too bland for your taste? You can now customize the color and style of Google+ with Googlt+ Ultimate. Things that you can customize include the background, scrollbars, left and top panel, navigation bar, image size in stream, side-by-side view (for large monitor).
GTools+ is developed by the same developer as Google+ Ultimate. It acts as a complement to Google+ Ultimate and allows you to customize the Google bar as well as integrating the chat feature to the Google bar.
Extensions are powerful pieces of software in modern browsers, and as such, you should help ensure that your extensions are not susceptible to security exploits. If an attacker manages to exploit a vulnerability in an extension, it’s serious business because they may gain access to the same privileges that the extension has.
The Chrome extensions system has a number of built-in protections to make it more difficult to introduce exploitable code, but certain coding patterns can still open up the risk of exploits like a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack. Many of these mistakes are common to web programming in general, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out one of themany good articles on the net about XSS bugs. Here are some of our recommendations for writing healthier extensions.
Minimize your permissions
The most important thing to consider is whether you’re declaring the minimal set of permissions that you need to function. That way, if you do have a security bug in your code, the amount of permissions you’re exposing to the attacker is minimal as well. Avoid requesting
Use content_security_policy in your manifest
Starting in Chrome 14, we will begin supporting Content Security Policy in extensions via the content_security_policymanifest field. This allows you to control where scripts can be executed, and it can be used to help reduce your exposure to cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. For example, to specify that your extension loads resources only from its own package, use the following policy:
"content_security_policy": "default-src 'self'"
If you need to include scripts from specific hosts, you can add those hosts to this property.
Instead of innerHTML, you can manually create DOM nodes and use innerText to insert dynamic content.
Beware external content
In Chrome 13, we added some new capabilities to content scripts and proxy management.
First, you can now make cross-origin XMLHttpRequest calls with the privileges of the extension directly from your content script. You will no longer need to relay these requests through a background page; this should simplify your code. In some cases, it may even eliminate your need to use a background page. Here’s a sample extension which demonstrates the old way a content script could make a cross domain request. As you can see, the extension required a background page to route the cross-origin calls through a chrome.extension.onRequest listener. Using the new content script cross-origin capabilities, we were able to successfully rewrite the extension to completely eliminate the background page requirement. This reduces the memory required to run the extension, and reduces code complexity as well. This also means that Greasemonkey scripts that use GM_xmlhttpRequest - such as the classic Book Burro - will now work in Chrome.
Second, we improved how match patterns work. Until this release you could specify a matches array for your content script - the URLs over which it should operate. In Chrome 13 you can now also specify an exclude_matches array, where you can indicate the pages in which your content scripts should not work. This should allow more precise targeting of your content script.
Finally, we added support for the @run-at command for imported Greasemonkey scripts, so you can control when your script is loaded in the same way you’ve been able to do for content scripts. Running scripts at different points in a page's lifecycle can enable additional functionality. For example, we've written a script which runs at "document-start" and lists all of the HTTP resources included in the current page.
In addition to these improvements to scripts, we’ve been working hard to allow extensions to manage Chrome’s proxy settings using different configuration options. With the Proxy Extension API, you can now configure proxy settings by choosing from several options including auto detection, the host OS’s system default, PAC scripts or fixed ProxyRules.
These new configuration options allow for more fine grained proxy controls, which we invite you to try out. There are already several 3rd party extensions available in the Chrome Web Store that showcase the API and its new capabilities, including Proxy Anywhere and Proxy SwitchyPlus.
Let us know what you think of these new features and what else you might like to see us do by joining the discussion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chrome: If you want Gmail or other webmail service provider to be your default email client when you click on email links on a webpage, this handy extension is one of the simplest ways to set up that default action.More »
Firefox/Chrome/IE: Swidget is a browser add-on that swaps banner and box ads for useful widgets, like the weather, news headlines, or even your Facebook feed. More »
Chrome: The Extended Share for Google Plus extension for Chrome adds a "Send to" link to each post or update at Google+ that you can click to republish the post at Twitter or Facebook. If you have an invite to Google+ but miss the ability to share updates with friends elsewhere, this extension makes it easier. More »
Google launched its Chrome browser in 2008. At the time it was fast, secure, stable and a minimalistic alternative to Microsoft’s beleaguered Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s bloated Firefox. However, Chrome was also criticised for lacking any extensions or customisation options. So, slowly Google rolled out extensions, theme support, and even Web Apps. Although we have covered extensions in the past, in this article I will focus primarily on those that help make your browsing experience smoother.
1. AdBlock Plus
AdBlock Plus was for the longest time one of the most installed extensions for Mozilla Firefox. When Google finally started allowing extensions for Chrome, many users cried out for AdBlock Plus to port an extension over to Chrome.
The extension is fairly simple to use: install it, pick a “filter list“, add any whitelisted domains and you are good to go.
Ads are blocked on every website that is not listed in your whitelist and it even blocks ads within YouTube videos.
I will leave it to your judgment to decide whether it is appropriate to use ad blockers on the web.
Most websites and blogs have a Twitter “Tweet” button or a Facebook “Like” button, however what happens if you want to post the contents of that site to a Tumblr blog or Reddit it? If you find yourself in a situation like this, I would recommend installing the Shareaholic extension.
This extension places an icon on your Chrome toolbar that lists your chosen social media and other links allowing you to share, email, print and save the blog post or article that you are reading.
You can login to your own Shareaholic account and tweak the services that are visible on your Chrome browser.
3. Mega Buttons
A large majority of Chrome’s features are buried within the about:plugins, about:flags, about:extensions and other pages. The Mega Button extension places a large green button on your Chrome toolbar that allows easy access to all these and more features.
While the extension is useful, unless you know what each icon refers to, it can be a little difficult to find the right link.
The links (in order) refer to the following features:
This extension simply converts “unclickable” URLs and Email addresses into clickable ones.
Websites and blogs will often post links such as:
In some cases, they decide not to turn the link into a hyperlink. This extension automatically generates a hyperlink out of the unclickable links. Simply install it and restart your browser for it to work.
This is another extension that is very simple but immensely useful.
Some sites have Email addresses to contact the sites owner, usually these are in the format:
If you click on the Email address it automatically opens a compose window within your default Email client. Unfortunately, most computers have their default Email client set to their desktop client, such as Outlook. After installing this extension, when you click on an Email link, it will automatically open your default email account.
Bonus: Greasemonkey Scripts
On Firefox, Greasemonkey is an extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to the HTML content of a web page immediately after it has loaded. Unfortunately, Greasemonkey is a Firefox only extension, however most of the scripts that work with Greasemonkey on Firefox also work on Chrome. Furthermore, there is no need to install the Greasemonkey extension. All you have to do, is head over to http://userscripts.org/ and click “Install” on any script you wish to install in Chrome. Some of the scripts will not work correctly, but most do.
Chrome: YouTube is great, but some of its features are annoying. With the YouTube Options for Google Chrome extension, you can suppress in-video ads, remove comments, disable annotations, and more. The extension allows you to completely change the look and feel of YouTube. More »
Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Mailplane: Rapportive, a plugin which we've previously mentioned for its Gmail-enhancing powers, has recently added Twitter capabilities. So now you can follow, reply to, and retweet your contacts—all without leaving Gmail. More »
Tabulate! is a Chrome Extension that allows users to quickly share every tab in their active browser window with a single link. The extension uses the previously mentioned BridgeURL service, and adds a small button to the top bar that automatically copies a BridgeURL link to the clipboard. The BridgeURL link leads to a page with individual links to every page that was tabbed in the original Chrome window, along with an option to open them all at once. More »
Chrome: If you've been looking for ways to put Google's new +1 service to use, or just trying to get more into it, then this Chrome extension could be your ticket. The very unofficial "+1 Plus One" extension adds a button to your browser's toolbar that, when clicked, will show you the number of +1's that a site's received. It also allows you to add your own +1 on the fly, which is actually the more useful feature, since the only way to do it at the moment is through search results or buttons added to sites by their owners.More »
Google Chrome: People who spend a lot of time on Wikipedia may find this extension particularly valuable, even if it is somewhat limited. With WikiPreview installed, any time you hover your mouse over a link to another Wikipedia article while on the site, a small snippet pops up to show you what that article's about.More »
Chrome does a good job of updating your extensions automatically, but it checks for updates on its own schedule. If you know that a new version of an extension is out but Chrome hasn't updated it, here's how to do it manually.More »
Cross posted at the Google Code blog
We recently unveiled ChromeVox — a built-in screen reader for Chrome OS — during Google I/O 2011. This is an early developer beta that is designed to help authors of web applications come up to speed with platform accessibility on Chrome OS.
ChromeVox leverages two of Chrome's experimental extension APIs, the experimental.tts API for cross-platform text-to-speech, and the experimental.accessibility API that lets an extension listen for accessibility events in Chrome's menus and toolbars. In turn, ChromeVox exposes a simple screen reader API to web developers who wish to further customize the ChromeVox user experience. Thus, within your application, you can:
- Automatically generate spoken messages and earcons.
- Set ChromeVox to synchronize with your application's current focus.
ChromeVox also comes with an interactive online tutorial that demonstrates how users of spoken feedback interact with webpages. Examples range from static content to interactive applications. You can test these same navigation techniques within your own applications to quickly verify users can reach all portions of your application using the keyboard and obtain meaningful feedback. You can then annotate your application with the necessary ARIA properties and other accessibility enhancements to ensure that blind and visually impaired users gain complete access to your application. Please see our Google I/O 2011 talk for more.
Details on enabling accessibility in Chrome OS can be found on the Accessibility help page, and the Chrome extension is available for download from our Wiki page. For now, ChromeVox is targeted at end-users on Chrome OS, but it may also prove a useful tool to web developers using Chrome on all major platforms. We welcome your feedback via our Open Source project website at http://google-axs-chrome.googlecode.com.
Windows/Mac: "Keyboard Shortcuts to Reorder Tabs" is a no-frills Chrome extension with a no-nonsense name. It allows Windows and Mac users to change the order of their tabs by holding CTRL+SHIFT and pressing Page Up or Page Down to move the tab to the left or right.More »
The first is a full-featured proxy API, which will, for example, allow users to set different proxy servers for normal browsing and Incognito mode. Proxy auto-config scripts are also supported by the API.
The second -- Web Navigation Extension -- is a bit more expansive. This API will allow devs to build everything from more powerful safe browsing extensions -- like Traffic Light -- to data analysis and reporting extensions.
Both APIs are currently experimental, so you'll need to enable them on the about:flags page to try out any relevant extensions. Apart from a proxy example built by Google and shipped with the Chromium source, we're not aware of any examples just yet, however. We'll let you know when we spot any slick, new extensions which do surface.
In the latest Chrome beta release, we made available two new experimental extension APIs: the Web Navigation and Proxy Extension APIs. They are the first in a series of low-level APIs that allow extension and application authors integrate more closely with the user’s browsing experience. We're excited about these APIs and want to get them in front of developers early so we can receive their feedback on any additional needs.
- The Web Navigation Extension API allows extension developers to observe browser navigation events. These events fire both for top-level navigation and in-page navigation. The API therefore allows an extension to keep track of exactly what page (or section thereof) the tab is showing, and how the user got there. We foresee a number of use cases for this API, including extensions that gather and present statistical or benchmarking data, safe-browsing extensions, and developer tools.
- The Proxy Extension API closes one of our most popular feature requests, allowing users to configure Chrome’s proxy settings via extensions. Proxies can be configured for the entire browser or independently for regular and incognito windows. Configuration options range from setting a single proxy server to installing remote or even local PAC scripts. A sample extension demonstrates these capabilities.
To try out these new APIs, please go to about:flags and enable “Experimental Extension APIs”. To protect our users' privacy, when these APIs reach the stable channel, extensions that use them will need to request explicit permission from users.
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.