If you’ve been a Firefox user for a long time, you’ll know it’s hard to consider changing to Chrome. Yes, there’s no doubt that there’s some great Chrome features you’d love to try out, but how would I live without extension XYZ? It can’t be done!
I was right there with you until very recently. Finally, Chrome extensions have evolved enough to include certain things I find essential to my browsing experience. If you’re toying with the idea of changing to Chrome yourself, read on. You’ll probably like what you see.
There are plenty of reasons previously discussed on MakeUseOf as to why someone might move to Chrome.
Firstly, I can’t imagine how I would cope with most of the Internet without some sort of ad-blocking feature in my browser. Of course, I’m sure to allow ads for all my favourite sites, because I know the bills need to be paid somehow. But it’s nice to know I won’t see all the completely irrelevant ads thrown my way when I follow random links. Ad-blocking is essential for me, so here’s AdBlock Plus.
Toolbar RSS feedsIf you’ve got all your favourite RSS feeds in your Firefox toolbar, you’ve probably already noticed that the basic Chrome functionality will never do what you want it to. Maybe you use RSS feeds to show you your Delicious bookmarks in your toolbar. Well, the Foxish Live RSS extension or RSS LiveLinks is exactly what you need to replicate that in Chrome.
With Twitter Notifier, you can choose to have sticky notifications of mentions or direct messages, plus you can choose to be notified of all or none of the tweets from people you follow. Between the two extensions, it lets you have the perfect combination of filtering and sticky notifications.
ShareaholicThis is the extension which gets the most use from me. If there had been no Shareaholic for Chrome it would have been a deal-breaker for sure. All you do is tell Shareaholic which services you like to share links to and let it be your go-to point whenever you want to share the page you’re on. Easy and addictive!
NotifiersI would be lost without Gmail and Google Calendar notifiers. Read more about the Google Services Chrome extensions here. Some other great notifiers I found as Chrome extensions are:
ScreenshotsAs a blogger with a small laptop I often need to take a screenshot of something I can’t see in one window without scrolling. Although there’s plenty of screenshot extensions out there, I really just need something which will quickly and accurately take a snapshot of an entire webpage. Awesome Screenshot does the trick perfectly.
Speed Dial is by far the best thing to see when you open a new tab. Sadly, even if you’ve just synced your Firefox bookmarks with Chrome, you will still need to set up Speed Dial again as it works differently in Chrome.
FeedlyFeedly takes your Google Reader subscriptions and shows them to you in a more browsable format with thumbnails and headlines from your favourite Google Reader folders. When you’ve browsed the page, you can mark all of the posts you saw as read, then refresh for another page of links to browse. This is awesome for people who don’t read every single post they get in Google Reader (who does?), but sometimes want to cherry-pick the most interesting posts for a while.
Other Useful Chrome ExtensionsWithout going into too much detail, here’s a few more ultra-useful extensions:
- Rapportive – Lets you see social network information about your Gmail contacts when you read email from them.
- StumbleUpon – Lets you find fun websites with one button.
- Last.fm – Free Online Radio in Chrome.
- Meebo – Log in to Meebo or your favourite chat client.
- Drag2Up – Lets you drag picture files into text boxes in order to upload and share a link to it in one move.