Google Chrome Extensions reviewed - so you don't have to

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jethro's picture

The things I do for you readers! Oh and thanks for reading.

extensionsToday I spent some time going through all the Google Chrome extensions and finding what I consider to be the good ones. Ok I didn’t go through all 2670 (at time of research) but I did go through the top 400.

Remember the days of using Firefox, and its extensions, until it got all so buggy and memory hungry that it kept crashing? And even session manger couldn’t rescue it!

Well then Chrome came along and we got all minimalist for a bit. Stoically and philosophically said “don’t need extensions!”

IMGP7040 So why go back to extensions. Well, Chrome is probably the best browser out there right now. Memory use and security wise its ahead of the others. Screen space its miles ahead with no extra “chrome”, toolbars and other stuff using valuable screen real estate, and for those who know I run off 6 monitors, yes even then screen real estate is important. So there were some things I found missing from Chrome that I have now found extensions for.

Import an RSS Feed into Google Reader. This extension puts an RSS icon into the address bar when the page being browsed has an RSS feed or feeds. Clicking it allows you to select the feed and open a subscribe to this feed using … subscribe page – very useful. This RSS Subscription Extension is an official Google one.

Staying with Google reader, the Google Reader Plus extension claims to enhance Google reader by adding missing favicons and a collection of others features. I installed it but cannot see any noticeable difference in Google Reader.

TooManyTabs and Vertical Tabs are two different ways of dealing with the same problem, so many tabs open you cant see the favicons or page description. I regularly have 30+ tabs open. Once I hit around 40 odd the favicons start disappearing. The Vertical Tabs extension allows you to see the list in a drop down scrollable menu style selection. TooManyTabs allows you to store unused tabs, thus reducing the clutter at the top.

Page Rank puts a little page rank icon in your toolbar displaying the page rank for the page being browsed. This is page and not site specific, so in my case it only works on the main url of and not underlying pages. Note does not work on Mac Chrome.

30. The New Browser in Town the Google Chrome.jpgLiveChrome allows you to see your Windows Live Services (Hotmail, Messenger, Contacts, Calendar, Photos) in a popup box, or open them into a full tab. I included it for its integration with the Live Services, but its not useful for me and it got uninstalled after testing it.

Official eBay extension. This one was interesting because I had just bough some new camera filters on eBay this morning. After installing it and authenticating my user I was able to see from the drop down box the items I had to provide feedback for. It would also have shown any items I was watching or selling if I had any at the moment.

Downloads button. Very useful extension – puts single click access to the downloads page onto the toolbar.

For power (addicted) Facebook users there were a ton of enhancing and modifying facebook extensions. Go to Google Chrome Extensions and search for Facebook. I installed none! I like my facebook as minimalist as possible.