Chrome for Mac – Now with Extensions
The last couple of weeks I have been going back and forth between Firefox and Safari as my default web browser, trying to appreciate their full-featured nature over the fact that they are both so sluggish in comparison to the lovely Chrome Beta. Thankfully, Google announced support for two of the things that have really kept me from making it my preferred choice ... Extensions and Bookmark Management.
Installing extensions through the browser is super-easy, doesn't require a restart and there are plenty to choose from. Here are just a few of the ones I am already finding essential:
- Delicious Tools - Not a direct match to its great Firefox equivalent, but it works nicely for what I need.
- Downloads - Easy access to Chrome's "Downloads" page from a toolbar button.
- Go Extensions - Same deal, but with the Extensions page.
- Google Mail Checker - For those of you still checking Gmail outside of the Mail.app, this extensions offers quick access to your mail and nicely sports notification badges.
- Google Voice - Not only quickly get to your Google Voice account, but you can also initiate a call or send a SMS right from the toolbar.
- Google Wave Notifier - It kinda seems likes some of these should be built right in, huh? Maybe that is what Chrome OS will bring.
- History Button - I'm actually thinking this is one of those extensions that will become obsolete once Chrome goes Release, but for now, it is handy.
- RSS Subscriptions with FEED: Handler Support - RSS feeds are really important to me and this lil' guy is exactly what I needed to get feeds from Chrome to the external aggregator I am partial to right now (Socialite). If all you want to do is add feeds to your iGoogle or Google Reader accounts, there are a few other options.
- Speed Dial - This one is the cherry-on-the-top for me. A start page thumbnail display that is better than the weak Firefox counterpart (Fast Dial), more versatile than the built-in 2-row setup that Chrome provides and it's even similar enough to Safari to appease my visual needs. Seriously ... it is simple, but I am really excited about this extension.
- StumbleUpon - I'm still not sold on the whole SU use case, but since a lot of sites are dropping Digg buttons, I need another easy way to keep track of articles I like.
*Extensions Organization Tip
As of right now, Chrome doesn't take advantage of the typical Command+drag UI convention for re-arranging the icons for extensions in the toolbar, but you can easily get around this by "Enabling" and "Disabling" the extensions in the order you want them to appear.
Not only does the Bookmark manager work exactly as would you expect for being built on WebKit (including support for dragging bookmarks directly from Safari's 'Bookmarks' window), but Google has also added "Bookmark Syncing" support. This will make it really easy for those of you with multiple machines/devices that want to keep things in sync. I personally keep all but a few essential bookmarks on Delicious, but I still set up the syncing, since it was so easy.
Alright, that's enough talking of Chrome for a bit. We can all go back to eagerly awaiting anything new on Google's OS front. Until then ... if you find any more great extensions, be sure to post links below.
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