Barring a selective few, a majority of us are dependant on Google Chrome as our primary browser. And why shouldn't we be? Chrome is fluid, sharp and notably convenient to use. There's a reason why several prefer this browser over the others available today, and you can see it in its web or app version.
But what truly sets it apart is its vast library of extensions that are programmed to make your browsing experience smoother. That said, not many know about these extensions and how to use them. Available on Google Web Store, you're bound to find yourself lost in the ocean of extensions. With options ranging from writing essentials to design aid and gaming extensions — there's plenty there that would help you get by on Chrome each day.
However, don't be quick to dismiss these as something trivial. Chrome extensions give your browser an edge, and they allow you to perform simple online tasks with ease. Before we go ahead and talk about the must-have additions to your browser, we're going to walk you through the functionalities a little more. Here's why Chrome extensions are essential for the overall function and utility of your day to day life:
How to use a Chrome extension?
Different extensions have varied ways of working. However, on installing one, you can locate it on your dashboard, just below your tabs. If you've installed more than one extensions, you can also find them nestled under a jigsaw puzzle shaped icon. In different options under the same drop-down menu, you will be able to pin it on your dashboard if you require it every day.
You can also visit Settings on Chrome, where you will see an Extensions tab on your left. On clicking this option, you will find all your previously installed extensions in one place. You can choose to remove, unpin or uninstall the older ones using both these functions.
Some commonly used Chrome extensions
You may not know it, but you may have unknowingly added a couple of commonly used extensions on your dashboard. Here are a few of them:
- Adblocker: Used to block out ads on websites, YouTube and other pages. Although it works most of the times — several sites now prevent Adblocker from running on them.
- Grammarly: Your trusted Grammar-checking friend that doesn't let you send a lousily-worded email to your boss.
- Amazon Assistant: Looks after tracking, managing your wishlist and checking your order. Additionally helps you while away your time at work!
Now that you've had your crash course on Chrome extensions, we have used and curated a list of the ten most utility-friendly extensions to help you get onboard the feature.
Tabby Cat: We know, we spoke about including extensions that help you make the most of your browsing experience. But we couldn't help but include Tabby Cat, which lets you pet and play with a virtual cat. This extension takes over your tab page, and each time you open a new tab, you're greeted by a brand new pet. Created to make you 'feel better,' these cats will blink, sleep, and even let you pet them if you're up for it. If you're not a cat person, no problem. This extension has plenty of other pets, including dogs, penguins, bunnies, pigs, that will light up your screen and leave you with a smile.
Readlang Web Reader: Wouldn't it be great if you could put your long hours of aimless reading on the web to good use? Readlang Web Reader is one such extension that will make you feel less guilty about whiling away your time. Readlang Web Reader allows you to learn a new language -- for free! (At least most of it). On installing this extension, it will prompt you asking for the language you wish to learn. After choosing the language of your choice, all you have to do is highlight a word or a phrase, and Readlang will show you the translated phrase on top of the word. The only catch is that you can read six words per phrase — beyond that would count as the premium version. But six words is a good start for someone who knows nil! So, we'd suggest going for this.
Zoom Scheduler: In the day and age of virtual calls, having a Zoom Scheduler handy is basic. In fact, logging into Zoom every half an hour to schedule a new meeting can get tedious for no reason. This extension is a quicker, hassle-free way to log in and schedule a call for your team. All you're required to do is sign-in on installing this extension — you can make changes to your calendar by scheduling quick meetings. You can also start one on a priority with the 'Start a Meeting' option. And while this extension doesn't have a lot of functions, this defty addition to your dashboard.
Noisli: Not too long ago, we told you about the benefits of white noise. They not only help you sleep, but they also help drone out external sounds that could stop you from concentrating at work. With Noisli, you can create custom playlists with white noise sounds. These include rain, coffee shop, thunderstorm, seaside, bonfire, water stream, leaves in several categories. So, the next time you're looking to boost your mood, increase your productivity or catch a break during your work hours -- Noisli will help you get through it. What's more, is that you can also save your custom made playlists. If you want, they also have a premium version for you to explore more sounds.
I Just Want The Recipe Janet: Have you ever wandered onto a website claiming it has a recipe for your favourite dish, but it winds up engaging you in a lengthy feature piece instead? Yeah, we hate it too! Especially when we're craving a spoonful of our beloved mug cake and can't seem to find a blog with only the recipe on it. This extension, funnily enough, asks the website to keep it simple and presents you with only the recipe of your desired food item. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the image of the dish, an icon with 'I Just Want The Recipe Janet' appears, and once you click on it, you'll find a clean version of it for yourself on a pop-up. Ta-da!
Save to Pocket: Most of us have been saving bookmarks since we first understood how to use the internet. So, now, looking for anything in our bookmarks is perhaps the same as re-looking for it on the web! We came across Save to Pocket, and we thought it's yet another site that lets you bookmark the sites of your choice. However, instead, we came across a world of its own. After installing, the extension allows you to save a website by solely clicking on the pocket icon on your dashboard. More so, when you visit your dashboard, you will not only find your saved articles, you will be able to explore several other genres that you love. So, readers who are looking for a getaway, this is the extension you need.
Google Dictionary: A simple yet effective extension for your dashboard, Google Dictionary can help you identify the meaning of the words you can't seem to understand. Because let's face it, how many times have we wandered onto a stray website and exasperatedly clicked on back because we didn't quite get what the author was trying to say? Far too many times, if you ask us. Google Dictionary also defines words if you've selected them with your cursor on a particular webpage. What more do we need?
RiteTag: If you're an influencer or a social media manager, you already know the struggles of whipping up new hashtags for every post. In fact, it is almost frustrating to the point where you run out of related keywords each time you're told to come up with something. RiteTag is a valuable extension for those who're into social media marketing and SEO analysts. After installing, hover right-click on the image on the internet that you wish to find the hashtags to, and you will find a list of tags related to the picture. What's more, you don't even need to manually copy each one of them and can smart-select the ones you need.
What To Watch: What if we tell you that an extension can help you choose what to watch? Yes, technology has, indeed, come a long way! The next time you can't find a title to binge on, you can check out the What To Watch extension on Google Chrome. It helps you with the top trending shows and movies — and it also allows you to search for related titles once you're finished reading them. We're only disappointed to know that it doesn't tell us where to watch it — however, that doesn't stop us from hoping that the feature is introduced soon enough!
Black Menu for Google: An extension you definitely didn't know you needed! Black Menu for Google is your one-stop shop for all Google Apps. After syncing your Google account with this extension, it will allow you to use a drop-down menu featuring all possible Google Apps that you've logged yourself into: These include Gmail, Maps, YouTube, News, Translate, Calendar, Drive, Keep, Task and Search. You can also get a quick glimpse into each of these apps. And we think it's a genius addition to Google Chrome!
Extensions can make your life effortless and your browsing experience seamless. However, it is vital to note that not all extensions are safe for your PC — and it is crucial to go through the developer information to make sure that it is not just collecting your personal information. Reading on reviews can also be a helpful practice as it will help determine the program's authenticity.