Google Chrome Extensions

10Dec09

I’m trying to remember when exactly I switched from Firefox to Google Chrome as my primary browser. I think it was sometime in 2009, between January and May. I use Google Chrome for all of my browsing* now. I have application shortcuts for Gmail and Remember the Milk, which then open in their own “windows”.

At first, I was curious and just trying it out. But I was immediately drawn by how fast JavaScript-heavy pages loaded. Gmail is so much faster loading in Google Chrome (I remember getting annoyed with how long it took to load it at work last term).

I like its plain and simple interface, without all the bells and whistles with which you can extend Firefox, so when Google announced that they were releasing an Extensions gallery for Chrome, I was a bit skeptical. I will see soon if the extensions that I have installed slow the browser down that much. What have I installed?

  • ChromeMilk – an extension for Remember the Milk, it’s a little bit buggy at the moment due to a bug in Chromium, but other than that it works great. It placed an icon on my address bar line and when I click on it, I get a view of my tasks, the Gmail view in my case since I prefer that one over the iGoogle view. This is perfect – I no longer have to leave Remember the Task (an Adobe Air) app open all the time!
  • Del.icio.us Tools – adds an icon to my address bar line that when clicked on, offers an option to save a new bookmark (the current page) or view my Del.icio.us bookmarks. Bye bye bookmarklet to save a bookmark to Delicious, which I access by pressing Ctrl+B to open my bookmarks toolbar!
  • Google Translate – One of my friends blogs in Russian and of course I still want to read her posts, so having a one-click “Translate to English” button on my address bar line is perfect! My original method was to navigate to google.com/translate and copy and paste the URL of her post into the textbox and then eventually I found a bookmarklet, but now I have a splendid button!
  • Google Calendar Checker – This tells me how long until my next appointment. Hovering over the button tells me the time and name of the event and clicking on it takes me to my Google Calendar.
  • VerticalTabs – This one, I am still pensive about. I miss the functionality of Firefox to be able to see all of your tabs in a dropdown, which is why I installed this, but I’m not completely sold on this particular extension yet.
  • Xmarks Bookmark Sync – I haven’t installed this yet, but I likely will soon after backing up my Google Chrome bookmarks since I have always installed it on my Firefox instances.

One of my favourite features about Google Chrome, actually, is the ability to resize text fields. This is great for writing blog posts!

What I miss the most, though, is definitely my Firebug extension. Hopefully that will be added to the Google Chrome extensions gallery soon! Firebug has been extremely useful when debugging JavaScript.

*all of my browsing literally means browsing – I often still use Firefox for debugging web applications.

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