10 Chrome Extensions to Ease Your Browsing

I love Chrome and I have a lot of extensions on it. Here are the 10 I use the most.

In my last month at RADVISION, I’ve done a lot of knowledge passing to others – that’s what happens after 13 years in a company in various positions. One of the things that surprised me was when a few colleagues have asked me for the list of Chrome extensions that I am using. It seems that as someone who lives and breathes on the web, I have collected a nice list of Chrome extensions that others also wanted to use.

Here’s the current list of extensions I am working with. It will be updated once every few months when the need arises.

1. Rapportive

Usually, people will start with an ad blocker extension. I’d like to start with the most productive one – Rapportive.

This is a plugin by a company under the same name that was just acquired by LinkedIn. Once you install it – go use your Gmail. It will change your experience . You will see information about   the people you are communicating with on Gmail in the sidebar – their picture, title, latest tweets – a bunch of things that bring useful context.

I can’t live without it.

2. RSS subscription extension plus

If you are into reading blogs using RSS feeds, then you might have noticed that Chrome is a bit clunky when it comes to subscribing to RSS feeds  – a degradation in experience compared to Firefox. Worry not – RSS subscription extension plus remedies that.

3. IETab

While Internet Explorer use is dropping with every passing day, there are still a lot of websites that require them – mainly enterprise and government ones. To that end, IETab, an extension that I used quite a lot on Firefox and now on Chrome, can be used. With a click of a button it will use Internet Explorer as the renderer engine of the web page you are viewing, and will also allow you to configure specific URLs that will be automatically rendered by it.

4. AdBlock

Can’t live without an ad blocker. On Firefox, it comes built in. As Google lives from ads, this is something you need to manually add. I found the basic AdBlock one adequate for my needs – I am fine with seeing ads, I just don’t want them to dominate the web pages I view.

5. Page Snooze

Tabbed browsing is the best. It allows me to open up multiple tabs, each looking at different pages. The problem is that I get too many tabs open at most times – usually for things I want to read later or wish to remember. Besides cluttering my browser, it also takes up humungous amounts of memory. And here Page Snooze comes in. This extension can take any page you are currently browsing and place it in a kind of a “read-later” list, but one that doesn’t get forgotten because you place an “expiration” date on it – you snooze a page for a day or more and when the time comes – the tab will be opened again automatically.

I like it because it doesn’t create an endless list of things that I want to read but never will and it acts as a kind of a nagging reminder of things I need to do.

6. Send to Kindle

Did I say I am an avid reader who is a Kindle addict? One of the great things about Kindle is that once you buy one, you also get an email address at kindle.com. You can send emails and documents to it. And you can also send it long posts and articles from the web. The best way I have found to do it is by way of Amazon’s own Send to Kindle extension. It adds a small icon on the toolbar that when pressed, will clear up all of the page clutter (header, footer, sidebars) and will send the article itself to your Kindle.

I use it all the time for long posts that require more attention span than I can spare on my laptop.

7. Firebug Lite

Sometimes you need to do a bit of “programming” in HTML. While the best approach would be to use Firebug on Firefox, there’s a lighter version available for Chrome called Firebug Lite. Not that comprehensive, but works well for the smaller things.

If you don’t see a need to play once in a while with HTML pages it might be time for you to rethink what you’re doing – knowing a bit of HTML coding is a useful trait these days.

UPDATE: Chrome browser these days comes with some good built-in developer tools, so to some, this extension would be  unnecessary now.

8. Phonedeck

Ever wanted to send an SMS from a real keyboard instead of the poor touch replacement on your smartphone? Well… there’s an extension for that. At least if you are using Android – and it can also control your phone calls, which is cool. Phonedeck works as an Android app and a Chrome extension that work in concert. You receive an SMS – it finds its way to the extension. You write an SMS on the extension – it gets sent from your phone. You can even know who’s calling without looking at your phone. What can be cooler?

Beware – this thing will cause you to send more messages.

9. Awesome Screenshot

Another one of those extensions I couldn’t live without. At times, I need to get a screenshot showing a webpage, but then I want the whole webpage and not just what goes above the fold. Best way for that is to use Awesome Screenshot. It allows selecting the viewable area, the whole page or clipping.

10. Evernote Web clipper

I  use Evernote. Now a bit more than before. For some reason, I decided to also install the Evernote Web Clipper. Besides having the ability to clip anything you see on the web into Evernote, it will also search your Evernote notes when you search on Google, which can come in handy.

+1. Simple REST Client

With anything Google these days, there’s a +1 to this list.

While I am not using it today (and don’t have it installed), I did use it extensively last year at my previous workplace, where I worked a lot with REST development. The Simple REST Client allows sending GET and POST requests to a REST server to try it out. A colleague of mine directed me to this extension and since then my debugging life was a lot easier – it is the simplest way you can use to send POST requests.

Have Others?

As I am always on the lookout for improving my habits, if you have any other extension that you think I am missing – please leave me a note.

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Comments

  1. Well i used the Google related extension, but i believe it is still annoying, i just want to mention it since i believe the idea is delicious. It needs a better implementation that’s for sure:
    http://www.google.com/related/

    • Tsahi Levent-Levi says:

      Noted, installed and will be checked – thanks!

      My only concern is that you didn’t even comment about that photo I’ve done all on my own – I drew it, found the tools and the puzzle pieces, took a picture of it and then even photoshopped it :-)

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