Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fun and Useful - Google Chrome Extensions

12/08/09, ah the magical Google Chrome day, an early Christmas day for all of us chrome/google fan boys out there. Google brought us three gifts: Chrome for Mac beta, Chrome for Linux beta, and Chrome extensions beta. I have to confess, the Linux beta is on the top of the list for me. Under Linux, there isn't that many choices for browsers. The best browser so far has been "always memory hungry" Firefox (not saying FF is bad, i still love it, but on a $90 512MB RAM play machine, you know what will happen). Now I have Chrome, oh yes, the Google Chrome.

Ok, back to the topic. The much anticipated Official Google Chrome extensions support is finally here. As an early adopter, I have been on the dev channel Chrome builds, so having able to install extensions isn't news to me. But, with the extension support released on normal Chrome builds and extensions site released, we are suddenly opened to hundreds, if not thousands of extensions and with installation as easy as a click of a button.

I have been exploring different extensions. In this post, I'm going to show you a few of my favorite extensions. You'll certainly find them fun and useful. In the future, I'll have another post to review some great dev related extensions.

1. Invisible Hand
"InvisibleHand discreetly notifies you if the product you’re browsing is available more cheaply from another retailer. The notification provides a convenient link straight to the relevant product page on the competing retailer’s website."
This magical extension really does work. I was searching for a video card on and look what showed up on my Chrome:

Yes, it alerted me that I could save $7.99 if I buy the very same card from Isn't that cool? I tested a bunch of other products and they all seemed to work. Although sometimes the saving is only a few cents, but it still shows me that. It compares all the major online retailers for the best bargain. Purely awesome!!!

2. Evernote Web Clipper
"Use the Evernote Web Clipper extension to easily save all the interesting stuff you see while browsing the web. No more bookmarks, tabs, or open windows. See something you like, clip it and you'll have it forever."
If you are an Evernote user, then you will definitely love this extension. It allows you to quickly clip a page that you like and saves to your Evernote account.

3. IE Tab
"Use Internet Explorer to display web pages in a Chrome tab. Some sites can only be displayed using IE, and with this extension you can now see those sites without leaving Chrome. Great for web developers who want to test the IE rendering engine, users who use sites with ActiveX controls, and users who want to use the explorer view for local files (i.e. file:// URLs)."
The classic IE Tab. We had that on FF, now it's also available on Chrome.

4. Aviary Screen Capture

"Take a screenshot of any webpage and edit it directly in your browser with applications. Plus convenient access to the Aviary website and tools.

This quick screen capture addon is a must-have for bloggers and designers alike! It will perform a screen capture of the visible portion of any webpage and then open the capture INSTANTLY in a basic image editor where you can do markup (draw arrows and rectangles), edit (crop, rotate and resize) and get the exact pixel colors of the image. A perfect companion tool for designers and bloggers!"
This is really useful. You can quickly capture the page you are currently viewing and allows you to make modifications. Matter fact, I used it for all the images above. What's even cooler is that it allows you save the image to disk or save to web. Personally, I still like TinyPic for hosting my images, but for people that aren't as picky as I am, Aviary's save to web is definitely a must have.

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