Why I Love Google Chrome & Favorite Chrome Extensions

This is not a teacher post. This is an internet junkie post, which I’m guessing you are at least in part, if you’re reading this.

Now that I’ve judged you, let’s talk about Google Chrome. Chrome is different from other browsers for a lot of reasons, a few of which I actually understand.  Here are some of them:

1. With Chrome you can sign in with your Google account, meaning your shortcuts, menu bar, history, tabs, etc. are there no matter which computer you sign in on. Also, if you commit fully to Google, which is a good idea since they are taking over the world, you can also log into your email (Gmail), calendar, and Drive (cloud) in one fell swoop. No matter where you are, no matter which computer, as long as you’re signed into Chrome, it will look exactly the same. Cool.

2. Extensions and apps are browser based, meaning those travel with you in your Google account and are not local-computer based.

3. No search box–search using the address bar (this is called the Omnibox).

4. If one of the tabs freezes, the others still work. You don’t have to close out the whole browser.

5. You can have a custom home page (or set of tabs).

6. It’s fast and rarely has problems loading web pages.

7. There are TONS of great apps and extensions!

I will talk about great apps another day. Today, I want to talk about Chrome extensions. I know that Firefox has great extensions, too. I’m not sure about Explorer. I haven’t used Explorer since…the stone ages.

Extensions are little programs that live in your internet browser and make it more awesome. They are not dependent on which site you’re on–they act as a part of your browser. Once installed, some extensions have little icon shortcuts to the right of the address bar (omnibox) but others don’t show up unless you need them.

You can manage (enable, options, and/or delete) extensions in the settings menu under “extensions”. To get to settings in Chrome, click the three horizontal lines at the top-right of the browser window.

Here are some fun Chrome extensions that I love. All can be found at the Chrome Web Store. The Chrome Web Store has Apps, Extensions, and Themes. To search only for extensions, click “extensions” to the left when you’re in the store.

Google Calendar – this extension allows you to quickly click and see upcoming events on your calendar. My schedule is really light this week–woohoo!

YoWindow – There are a lot of weather extensions, but I decided to try YoWindow because it had the highest ratings and most users in the Chrome Web Store. It is pretty fun–it has a little scene to represent the weather. Note our weather. Brrrr. It was a “booger freeze” run today. You know what I mean right?

Google Dictionary – a quick way to look up words. If you highlight a word on a web page and then click the icon, the definition pops up. (I used Shalane Flanagan’s website for a few examples on this page)

Evernote Clearly – makes pages easier to read. Before:

Click “Evernote Clearly”

and woohoo!

Hacker Vision – makes the background black and the text white, which is supposed to help eye strain.

CloudSave – When you right-click an image, you have the option to save directly to some online places like Drive, Dropbox, Flickr, etc.

Google Mail – Installing this extension gives you a little icon in the extension area. If you have mail, a little number shows up. This way, you don’t have to keep your mail open all the time.

Highlight to Search – When this extension is installed, you can highlight text and a little search box comes up, allowing you to search for it.

There are hundreds and hundreds more…these are just a few I’ve experimented with lately! Are you a Chrome user? If not, are you going to try it? What are your favorite extensions?

8 thoughts on “Why I Love Google Chrome & Favorite Chrome Extensions

  1. I have to tell you about the chain reaction this post started for me. First I use Chrome but I don’t use extensions and apps. I’m not very good at keeping a calendar but I want to be. After reading this post I checked out Google Calendar and downloaded the extension. I was super happy to see that I can also make it sink to my iphone calendar. No need to download a special google calendar app for my phone.
    Browsing around the chrome app store I saw the feedly app and thought I would check it out. I’m currently using Netvibes and they recently updated it and there are bugs that I’m not happy about. I tried Feedly and I love it.
    Next was an offer to switch the email on my google account to a gmail. I have been thinking of going to cloud mail instead of desktop based mail. I don’t have mail activated on my phone because I have to delete every message twice, once on the phone and once on my desktop. I haven’t done it yet but I’m very close to making the jump and trying to switch all my email to gmail. This has all happened in 24 since reading your post.
    Thanks for opening my eyes.
    Matt Tucker recently posted..Week 3, More EaglesMy Profile

    • Another one gets sucked into Google! 🙂 I’m fully immersed now and I love it. I fought the email the hardest…I wanted desktop email, but I would not give up my cloud email now! Glad you are enjoying it! (I love Feedly too)

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