I am, by no means, a Google fan boy–I have a Samsung laptop and an iPhone (that, for some odd reason, asks me if it should trust the laptop every time I plug it in). Although I’ll never be able to justify dropping anywhere near four digits on Glass, Chrome has been my browser of choice for years now. That’s because Firefox reminds me too much of Netscape Navigator, Safari sucks, Opera is sluggish, and WTF is Internet Explorer?!?
If you’ve never tried Chrome, it’s fast, sleek, and searching on the Omnibar is so easy that once you go Chrome, you’ll never go home (or roam). Here are the best Google Chrome extensions; the ones that will change the way you browse the internet.
1. Search by Image
With all the fancy gadgets and software, people forget that web search is what Google specializes in. This unique extension increases the effectiveness of your search bar by incorporating Google Goggles. No longer do you need to waste time typing–just drag a picture into the search bar and experience the future of the Internet.
This extension adds this camera button to all Google search bars in Chrome
Torrents are necessary for security and research. Thanks to the NSA monitoring, its become one of the most secure digital file transfer methods. This BitTorrent extension allows you to search and download educational torrents from across the web all within your Chrome Browser. This means you don’t need a torrent program, although I always keep a couple handy, just in case, because you just never know who will try to impede on your educational tools.
Just click the button, ignore the ads that always come with torrent browsers, and you’ll be well on your way to Tortuga. Be sure to pair this with PeerBlock and other encryption and anonymizing tools to protect your educational research from being leaked.
Torrents are a great research tool…I hear they have videos and music and video games to enhance your presentations…
No matter what anyone tells you, it’s a good idea to get your head into the clouds. Cloudy is a great Chrome extension for Gmail users to add files via any cloud service (Dropbox, Evernote, Instagram, etc). Sending attachments just got a whole lot easier.
Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs…
Power-users are aware of the browser’s biggest drawback–tabbed browsing eats up your computer’s memory. You’ll notice it when you’re connecting to your preferred game server and the video you’re processing starts to stutter. Shutting down Chrome used to be the only way to resolve this. TooManyTabs gives you the power to tackles this issue by suspending unused tabs, or allowing you to organize, label, delete, and so much more.
Now’s a good time to concentrate on Auschwitz because Tab is too commercial…
5. Chrome Remote Desktop
Windows has a few remote desktop sharing services available, but most of them have been integrated into other services or only work on other Windows machines. Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is a quick and easy way to access any device from your Chrome browser. It’s great for troubleshooting friends, colleagues, family members, or whoever else you know who still thinks Internet Explorer is a real browser.
Let me connect you to someone with a PhD in India making a fraction my salary so you can talk down to him instead…
6. Text Mode
Tired of flashy web pages burning your retinas with overly bright pictures, pre-loading videos, and all the other overlapping garbage? Use Text Mode to browse the worldwide web in text-only mode. It comes in extra handy if you crack, track, and warez.
Censor the Internet the way you see fit…
7. Hover Zoom
You can’t see enough detail in thumbnails, but some sites make enlarging them such a pain. This handy app shows the full size pics behind thumbnails on the most popular image sites (Facebook included) just by hovering your mouse over them. Now you can stop squinting to see whether or not that guy has his hand on your girlfriend.
Do you have this in a share size? Do I get a discount if I buy 2?
Get the features of your phone on your desktop, with desktop notifications for Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Foursquare, and more. Never be late to the party or miss a message again with Chime. It’s a great tool for those who love being in all the loops without having to get all loopy.
The Internet Is People!!! It’s PEOPLE!!!
9. RSS Feed Reader
This is my RSS feed reader. It’s basic and to the point with no frills. As opposed to just having normal bookmarks (which you’ll also still have), this app is basically like bookmarking the site and being notified of any updates. It’s a great way for bloggers, news junkies, gossips, paparazzi, students, and business pros to surf efficiently through daily tasks.
This isn’t actually a screenshot of my real feed reader, because privacy…
Serious bloggers know what a pain it can be to keep track of all the logins and formats for every blog you post on. ScribeFire allows you to manage everything from one spot.
11. AdBlock Plus
Keep your cookies safely tucked away (from everyone but Google and the government) in your cookie jar with AdBlock Plus. It doesn’t make you anonymous, but it stops those annoying banner ads (although nothing else). Think of this as your backup pistol in an first person shooter game; it’s basically just there for last-case scenarios in which you’re on the ground bleeding to death and fending off zombies while waiting for your partner to revive you. You’ll still want a ray gun or knife.
We interrupt this lifehack for an ad on blocking ads…
12. Evernote Web Clipper
Evernote is everything we wished Microsoft and IBM were making all this time with their productivity suites. Get the Evernote app to create notes (with time/date/gps stamps), Evernote Hello to import business cards into your contact list, and Web Clipper to save web research into your Evernote account with one-click.
After millennia of searching, mankind finally has an answer to a question that’s plagued us: what do you get someone who has everything? The answer is StumbleUpon–the Chrome extension gives you that thumbs down button you always wished Facebook has, but for the entirety of the Internet (there’s a thumbs up button too).
If you don’t know what StumbleUpon is, imagine the Internet as a radio station; just input your preferences, and discover why so many of us would rather stumble across the web than browse it. My name’s Versability, if you need a friend.
Just click stumble, thumbs a page up or down, and repeat…you’ve never had this much fun online…
Social media mavens will love Buffer; it allows you to schedule posts to the Big Three of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) directly from your browser. Now you can time your thoughts with SEO trends, or to spread your thoughts out over a week and stop stressing. Either way, you’ll be socially interacting on auto-pilot online while actually getting work done IRL. Autobots, FTW!
You wouldn’t believe how long I spent removing any trace of my tabs from this screenshot of my personal Facebook page to show you a button…
Sometimes, all these shiny websites distracting you from your work is the last thing you need. StayFocusd allows you to temporarily block yourself from accessing certain websites to focus on working. Look at the screenshot–it’s a very simple concept. Get back to work and give us money.
You know you wish you thought of this first. It’s great for those who resolved to stop incessantly checking Facebook, Twitter, play video games, watch movies, yada, yada, yada.
Raise your hand if you wish your job was to tell people to get to work…
16. Lazarus: Form Recovery
This little extension autosaves everything you type, so that if your browser crashes after you submit a form, you can recover all of your data! No more panic if you see an error message after 30 minutes of carefully crafting a long form entry.
Hate filling out forms? Fill out this form to tell us why, and someone will get back to you at our earliest convenience…
Honey the movie is a horrible Glitter remake that replaces Mariah Carey’s singing with Jessica Alba’s dancing. Honey the app automatically inputs discount, savings, and coupon codes whenever you shop online (and they’re available). If you shop online, you’ll want Honey; it’s the easiest gold you’ll ever save. I keep singing the Archies in my head, “awww…honey, honey.”
“Not the bees! Not the bees! My eyes!” – Ah Muzan Cab
18. Hola! Unblocker
Love playing games, watching movies, socializing, and accessing other questionable material at work? They may not let you download iTunes, but this great productive Chrome Browser works so much better than Internet Explorer. Now you can add Hola! Unblocker and bypass those corporate firewalls.
#Protip – if you have issues downloading at work, download it at home, and bring it to work on a disk, USB, or any other format you have available. You can also email it to yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll find a way to slip it on your computer.
Hola! Unblocker integrates a VPN proxy directly into your Chrome browser. This unlocks a slew of possibilities, including, as stated on their site “bypassing censorship.” This is a helpful extension for accessing American sites from other countries as well; you don’t really think about how hard it is to access American internet from abroad until you have to do it. When it happens, you’ll be happy you understand VPNs and Proxies.
As a bonus slacker tool, Excel is capable of running video games (Tetris, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc) within spreadsheets. That’s all I’ll say, for now.
Ever wondered how Anonymous stays anonymous online? One way is by creating shared public logins to social media accounts. The BugMeNot Chrome extension will create shared and anonymized logins to a variety of popular posting sites. You’ll never know who’s logging in and posting what, but you’ll still have ultimate control.
This concept is how YourAnonNews and all the other Anon accounts work (along with a variety of group/shared accounts on Twitter). It’s also a great way to bypass using your Facebook account to login to commenting sites (thus not giving them your personal info).
If you pride yourself on always knowing and sharing the latest memes and other assorted online happenings, Shareaholic is for you. It basically adds all those like buttons for all your favorite sites so you can share anything anywhere in the blink of an eye within your browser. Sharing isn’t a real addiction though; you’re just a gossip.
My name is (state your name), and I’m a sharaholic…
21. HTTPS Everywhere
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and TOR Project have come up with some great projects for the internet, and HTTPS Everywhere is one of those underrated strokes of genius that came from a collaboration of the two. When you connect to the web normally, you connect through HTTP, but this handy extension reroutes everything through the more secure HTTPS instead.
Translate is another of Google’s innovative programs I recommend having on every device and browser you own. The ability to translate content comes in handy throughout regular conversation more often than you’d think. It’s also a fun to catch differences by translating phrases back and forth. Knowing other languages is never a bad thing, but skip the expensive Rosetta Stone, and learn with this freebie.
Ich bin ein Berliner…DAS BOOT!!!
Shorter links are useless until they aren’t. Bit.ly makes that easy.
It’s not the size that counts; it’s how you use it…
24. View Thru
While Bit.ly shortens URLs, View Thru shows the full length link, so you can see where it leads before clicking it. #ProTip – Most trackers track you by tricking you into clicking a link. Just hover your mouse over a link and see where it really goes.
#Protip – the easiest way to track someone is through an IP address, and link shorteners are great ways to hide trackers…
25. Awesome New Tab Page
Imagine you had your phone’s interface on your desktop. Now imagine yourself having Windows 8 within a browser. Last, imagine downloading an extension that’s all that and a bag of peanuts.
Undo all that privacy and security you just set up…for convenience…