10 Useful Google Chrome Extensions I Can’t Live Without

I love Google Chrome. I love Google Chrome. I love Google chrome. Did I mention I love Google Chrome?

Google’s Chrome web browser has to rank as one of it’s biggest success stories. As of July 2012, nearly 34% of web users have made Chrome their browser of choice (Internet Explorer is at 32% and Firefox is at 25%). Not a bad result for a product that isn’t even four years old yet.

One of the primary drivers of Chrome’s popularity is the Google Chrome Web Store which helps make your browser experience unique to you.

Here are 10 extensions I increasingly can’t live without…

1. Black Menu 

All of your Google products and services in one click

Google’s product suite is HUGE and accessing the parts you need can vary from day to day. Black Menu solves this by serving up every product in tabbed format within an easy-to-access extension.

This has quickly become the most used extension I’ve got. Awesome.

2. Share buttons / counters

Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest stats at your fingertips

While many of the web’s pages feature sharing buttons ‘within’ the page, a helluva lot still do not. So, having your sharing buttons in your bookmarks bar is incredibly handy and often helps save a lot of time.

But, there is an even more useful reason for them. They can tell you how many times that page has been tweeted, liked and pinned. This is a great way of getting a feel for how popular specific pages are and whether or not they are worth sharing.

3. AdBlock and AdBlock Plus

Remove all of those pesky ads with ease

These are two of the most popular Google Chrome extensions and it is easy to see why. These ad blocking programs prevent the display of ads on your pages which make your web browsing sessions a much more enjoyable experience.

4. BlogLovin

Follow, categorise and read your favourite blogs direct from any web page

I’m a little miffed that Google is shutting down its iGoogle service next year as it has been my personal hub for a while now. But, I can see where they’re going and BlogLovin has helped ease the pain.

BlogLovin gives you a Google Reader style experience within the Chrome framework and makes following your favourite blogs as easy as pie.

Nom nom!

5. Speed Dial

Replace your Chrome ‘new’ tab with predefined visual bookmarks

Another app / solution that eases the pain of the imminent withdrawal of iGoogle. Speed Dial allows you to set up your home tab with your most visited sites in a way that can help kick start even the most forgetful minds.

Anther option is MySites which does a similar job and arguably presents your links in a prettier fashion.

6. Viral Heat social sentiment

Adds a basic analytic bar to any social network site you visit to give you a basic idea of sentiment of that account page (especially handy on Facebook brand pages).

7. Instagram for Chrome

A basic but (very) handy way to keep an eye on your Instagram stream from your desktop.

8. Screen Capture

The easiest way to obtain a screen grab and save / share.

9. Any.do

The web’s most complete task management tool with seamless mobile integration.

10. AppFinder by allmyapps

AppFinder works in a similar fashion to Invisible Hand whereby it includes suggestions directly into your search results.

Until next time…

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