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Monday, January 18, 2010

Do extensions make it worth switching to Chrome? (Part 1)

A few days ago I commented on how I was giving Google Chrome a shot at replacing Internet Explorer as my default browser of choice.  After a few days of playing about with various extensions, I thought I would comment on what I think of some.  I’ll start off with some of those that integrate with some of the Google apps I use.

Quick and easy access to my email was the first thing I looked for and I tried a few solutions.  Initially I tried Google Mail Checker which provided notification of any new mail in my inbox and crucially also works with Google Apps for Domains.  It does what you would expect letting you know when you have new email and how many, but if you want to compose an email you still have to go to your Google mail web page.  So I then added Send from GMail which gives a icon you can click to allow you to send an email without having to open up your Gmail in a separate tab, and again works for those running their own domain through Google apps.

I then added a few apps for Google reader before coming across one which provides updates for Reader and Gmail all from one icon, a great space saver.  One Number also provides updates for Google Voice and Wave for those using these services along with allowing you to send emails similar to the Send with Gmail extension I had already tried.  Great I thought, one extension, one icon and everything I want, well almost.  The app is let down in just one area, if like me you use Apps for domain, the send email option doesn’t seem to work, other than that a great extension.

Another couple of extensions I use for reader are Chrome Reader and Note in Reader.  Chrome Reader doesn’t waste space with an extension icon, instead when a RSS feed is on a page, it puts an RSS icon in the Omnibox that you can click on to add the feed to Google Reader.  Note in Reader adds the current page to your shared items within Reader.

Finally Google Calendar Popout and Google Tasks have also proven useful for dealing with their relevant Google apps without the need to open up either Calendar, Tasks or Gmail in separate tabs.  There are some other extensions I have been using, but as they all relate to non-Google products I’ll leave these for another time.

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