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.
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.
Fiabee is a relative newcomer to the cloud-to-mobile storage game, having only released its iOS app [iTunes link] back in June. The company has now begun focusing on Google's platforms and has made beta versions of the Fiabee app available for Android devices and Google Chrome.
IT administrators tend to be a fickle bunch, and with good reason. When you're supporting a vital service that can determine whether or not your entire business can operate properly, you tend to be very cautious when it comes to changing out a key component. A key component like a Web browser, for example -- say, Internet Explorer 6, which is still a force to be reckoned with in the enterprise.
Google has been doing its best to get Chrome in the front door, of course. First there was Chrome Frame, which seamlessly integrates into Internet Explorer to provide a hybridized, modern Frankenbrowser. Next came Chrome's remoting feature -- which is still not ready for prime time but is positioning itself as an alternative to Terminal Services setups.
Two more recent additions -- the arrival of an MSI installer and added support for Windows policies -- have added even more enterprise cred to the browser. Chrome now offers an enticing package to the IT admin. It's secure, it's fast, and -- most importantly -- it's now easy to manage and deploy across an entire Windows network.
Over at the official Chrome Blog, Google took a moment to trumpet these features and they're no doubt hoping administrators take notice. "We're excited by the features built so far, and we're working hard on polishing the next set of policies that will make Google Chrome even more customizable and useful to users in the future," concludes the post. Successful test deployments with Proctor and Gamble, Boise State University, and Vanguard are also mentioned.
2010 has certainly been a phenomenal year for Chrome in the consumer market. Will Google see similar enterprise gains in 2011? We'll revisit this one next December.
Before the “Like” button even exists, the only way to get your post shared across the Facebook network is via the “Share” button. With the new “Like” button, many webmasters rush to implement it on their sites, with some even replaced the “Share” with the “Like” button, without understand the differences. Some even think that the “Like” button is just a newer version of the “Share” button.
In this article, we will show you the differences between the Facebook Share and Like button and how you can utilize them effectively.
As the word implies, the “Share” button allows the users to share the current page link to their wall. This is akin to the user going into their Facebook account and paste the link onto their status update box (aka as the wall). Facebook will then retrieve images from the link and turn it into a snippet entry in your wall.
It's the beginning of the month again, and that means it's time for the big analytics guns to release their browsing snapshots once again. While there's not a lot of movement to report on for August of 2010, Google is no doubt pleased with the way things played out.
Android made a fairly major jump last month, climbing more than a full point -- from 7.91 to 9.22%. That gain came mostly at the expense of iOS and Symbian, both of which slid about half a point. Blackberry OS also continued to rise, finishing August up .5%.
On the desktop, Google surged ahead almost a full point to finish at 10.76%. That's nearly three times Chrome's user base from this time last year, and it's the first time Chrome has crossed the 10% mark.
And yes, Internet Explorer slipped yet again. IE is still dominant, yet it's also now dangerously close to slipping below 50% share for the first time ever. Perhaps the IE9 beta will help stem the tide -- it's due to arrive in less than two weeks.
What makes it awesome? For starters, it can capture both the visible portion of a page or the entire thing -- and scrolling web pages aren't always support by capture tools. It's also got a nice built-in editor which provides all the functions I typically need when cleaning up a screenshot: crop, shape drawing tools, arrows, editable(!) text, and a blur tool for hiding sensitive information.
When you're finished editing, your image is presented on the page and you can save it locally via a right click or upload and share with the push of a button.
Here's my one gripe about the extension: the links it provides are gigantic. Like many tools which upload to pict.com, the URLs Awesome Screenshot spits out are way longer than, say, an imgur or yfrog link. That creates an extra step sometimes if you're pasting a link into apps which don't auto-truncate.
Hopefully future versions will offer a choice of image host -- if so, Awesome Screenshot will be even better than it already is. And it's already pretty dang good.
Globally, Chrome fares better still -- with a 9.4% share. That's a pretty meteoric rise for a relatively young browser -- though when you've got a Google-sized marketing networking and partners galore, it's a little bit easier to pull off.
I know it's not even two years old yet, but frankly I'm amazed that it took this long for Chrome to surpass Safari. What about you?
[via Business Wire]
Hey, do you remember Google Bookmarks? I didn't either, until I heard the news that Google Bookmarks now has the ability to create and share lists of links. After a moment of confusion, I realized that Google Bookmarks wasn't a new product, and I started playing with lists.
They're actually quite useful! On top of creating and sharing, you can import all of the bookmarks from a friend's list (or a public list) into your own Google Bookmarks account. You can also open up lists to let your friends, or the public, add new links to them. Since this is a Google product, I don't think you'll be surprised to hear that it also suggests links that might fit into a list you're making.
Bookmarks are in a weird place right now. Sites like Delicious, which looked like the future of bookmarking a few years ago, have become less relevant. Many people are storing their bookmarks locally, and syncing them across machines with plugins like Xmarks or features like Chrome's bookmark sync. If anyone can bring users back to web-based bookmarking, though, it's Google, and a lists feature is an important start.