Google promised that Chrome would be fast to launch and fast to load web pages, but people predicted it would fail with the arrival of its extensions. Well, the extensions are here (at least for some of us) and surprisingly they do not affect the browser’s performance. And not only that, but playing with Google Chrome Extensions is like child’s play, whether you’ve added a new extension, or deleted one, you won’t need to restart your browser. Extensions are so easy to manage and use that once you have access to them, I’m sure you’ll be looking forward to testing everything in this Cromeextensions Directory.
This is what I basically did. I tried most of the extensions, then realized I’m not ready yet to ditch my beloved Firefox, and I’m guessing that you won’t be either. On the other hand, there are some plugins that are worthy of a mention and from that list I’ve culled some cool ones to get you started. If you already have extensions enabled (lucky you), you are welcome to try the ones in this list. If Chrome is not allowing extensions for you just yet, try to upgrade to the developer’s version (don’t worry, all of your Chrome settings will be saved).
One useful and lightweight chrome extension is “Gmail Compose.” It quickly allows you to compose an email through your Gmail account, and works instantly and with a single click. However, the problem with this extension is that once you click outside the extension area, the window closes and your email is automatically discarded. Personally, I prefer to have an extension that instantly lets me send a recipient the link & text of the page I’m currently viewing. Direct download
Perform a search from Wikipedia, Yahoo, Amazon, Google, and more with the QuickSearch extension. QuickSearch provides searching on your choice of search engine, right from the Chrome browser, and also enables you to customize it to the search engine of your choice. Unfortunately, you can’t delete already existing engines, you can only edit and delete additional search engines that you add. Direct download
Google Tasks for Chrome
If you use Google Task List, or are a fan of to-do lists in general, you should try Google Tasks for Chrome. This simple-to-use extension gives you full control over your tasks from the Browser and provides synchronization with your Gmail task list. Direct download
Chrome IE Tab
Some web pages will only work properly when viewed with Internet Explorer (go figure…). The Chrome IE Tab extension allows you to run IE from within a tab in Chrome enabling you to display such web pages without leaving Chrome. The awesomest thing is that you can configure the extension to do so automatically for URLs you specify in the setting for each page. Some users complained about this plug-in crashing their Browser, but it works like a charm for me on Windows7. Direct download
Translation was the first plugin I was looking for in Chrome, but so far there aren’t too many to choose from. Luckily Bubble-Translate seems worthwhile enough to use, but even this extension needs some improvement (more setting would be nice to have). Anyway, this is what you get once you install Bubble-Translate: You’ll be able to translate text on web pages from any language to yours. The extension uses Google Translate for in-line translations. How it works: After installation, go to the plug-in options, chose your desirable language, shortcut & theme. A small icon will show up in the URL address bar. Select text, then click the icon (or use one of the shortcuts suggested in the setting), and the tool tip is automatically displayed. Direct download
If you use Google Reader, this extension should make your life easier. Chromereader provides one-click subscription to blogs and websites that you like. When you see a page that you want to subscribe to, simply click on the Chromereader button and it’s goes straight into your Google Reader list – Simple as that. Direct download
A really nicely done extension is Fittr, which adds some helpful features to Flickr pictures. What does Fittr offer? First of all, lots of small and easy common shortcuts, which you can see by clicking ‘?’ at any given time. It auto-completes tags by showing the most popular tag that matches the prefix you’ve already entered. Quick access to a subset of the EXIF properties by clicking the link added at the bottom left of a photo. Also, a better view of an image with the lightbox tool. But the most significant addition is the ability to see Flickr’s short URL in the right sidebar of any picture, just click it to copy to your clipboard (and may I suggest that Flickr needs this one feature badly). Direct download
There are some Twitter extensions for Chrome (again, not many, but some). However, all of them are quite simple and don’t support too many features. But since we must have at least one decent Twitter client for Chrome, I recommend Chrome-Metrist. There’s also Chromed Bird extension, but I had some problems with it, so I gave up and switched to Chrome-Metrist instead. (But you are welcome to try them both for yourself)
After you install the extension, it will automatically lead to a pop-up configuration screen so that you can enter your Twitter log-in information (only the first time). You can also choose the font size, but other than that, the options are really small. The interface alone makes up for the few options available and the other issues, it really just looks awesome. Direct download
If you’re a true geek, than you still must use Delicious. For me, it is one of the most important information sources on the web today, so of course an extension to Chrome is more than welcome and needed. The one that caught my eye is a simple plug in that allows you to easily save a bookmark to Delicious, see all of your bookmarks, and get quick access to your Delicious inbox (which unfortunately, not so many people use). Very simple, very clean, and a very useful extension for Delicious freaks. Direct download
Google Wave Checker
The future of Google Wave is still a mystery, but we all know it’s here to stay so it’s better to be prepared with all the relevant tools. Who knows, you might find yourself using it on daily basis :) Google Wave Checker is very similar to the Wave Notifier addon for FireFox, it simply notifies you about any unread Waves you have. Here’s an interesting stat: So far 11,446 people downloaded Google Chrome Wave Checker, compared to 23,539 on FireFox – and most Chrome users do not use extensions yet. Direct download
I saved the best for last – The Jamendo Radio extension enables you to listen to music from your Browser like never before. Forget about Google’s 30sec-music, Jamendo gives you hours of free music. The service stores 27,475 independent albums, all are free to listen and free to download. And the wonderful thing is that you can listen to all of your favorite albums right from your browser. Direct download
The configuration is a bit complex however: After you install the extension, go to its options. You have the ability to add albums that you like to the Jamendo Radio playlist. For that you’ll need to go to Jamendo’s site, pick an album, grab the number of the album from its URL address, and add it in the options as shown in this short demo:
I can only assume this list of extensions will grow to overwhelmingly huge dimensions sometime in the near future and then it will be harder to select just a few of them to review. Although the supply is still very small, you can still stream music, or tweet from your browser, and have a list of utilities to start with—you just need to try and see if any of these suit you. And if they don’t for whatever reason, now is the perfect time to go ahead and build something or wait for someone else to build the next big extension. The niches are all ripe to be filled. Soon we will have more extensions than we need.
Feel free to share your thoughts about these extensions or recommend other ones.