Google’s fast, customizable web browser, Chrome, has built up a huge following since its initial release in 2008. Chrome enthusiasts list a multitude of reasons why they prefer Google’s web browsing experience to names like Firefox or Explorer.
One of the best features available to Chrome users has to be the availability of extensions. Similar to Mozilla’s add-ons, extensions are a way to improve your entire browsing experience. Here’s a look at six completely free extensions you should look into:
If you’re looking for the ultimate screenshot tool, Fireshot is sure to quickly become one of your favorites. You can choose exactly what you want to capture: the visible portion of a web page, the entire page, including any information you can’t see, or just the portion you select. Once you take your screenshot, Fireshot will send the image to an editor, allow you to save it as a document or PDF, upload it, email it, or print it.
Even with so many browser options available today, some websites are built to work best with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. (This is especially true of older websites.) IE Tab allows you to load the page in a new tab, without ever leaving your current Chrome browser window. It’s like having a mini Explorer at your fingertips when you need it.
Send from Gmail
Sending email directly from a page’s “mailto” link can be a little tricky, especially when you use your Gmail account as a primary email source, but clicking a link launches your desktop software (like Outlook). The Send from Gmail extension ensures that Gmail is launched automatically when you need it to.
For those who have a little trouble in the self-control department, StayFocusd (no “e”) can be an excellent tool. Ideal for those who work from home or parents of non-compliant teens, this extension helps you limit the amount of time you’re allowed to spend on certain websites while surfing.
For example, if you’d like to spend no more than an hour a day on websites like Facebook or Mini Clips, StayFocusd won’t let you back on the site after you’ve used up your time. You can also block specific pages and sites.
Ever come across something you’d like to take a look at later, when you’ve got more time? Pocket, which works with your browser, email, and even smartphone, allows you to do just that. Just set up an account, and then use the extension to save content with a click. You can then access your text or video whenever you’re ready.
Exfm music is the extension for audiophiles. Whenever you visit a music site, the Exfm player pops up to stream all of the MP3s on the page. It will even continue to play the music after you leave the site. And if you’re looking to share your tunes with friends, social networking links are a click away.