Though Chrome has always been a browser that has focused on speed and simplicity, when it added extensions as a feature last year, it threw down a gauntlet and began encroaching into Firefox’s long-held territory.
Best of all, with one-click installs and no restart required, many feel Chrome handles extensions better and easier than Firefox. But while developer support is growing rapidly, it still lags behind its competitor in terms of number of extensions available and the number of features that can be added.
However, this hasn’t stopped Chrome from racking up many great extensions, some of which are virtual must-haves for anyone using the browser and are key extensions in other browsers as well. Here are just five examples of powerful extensions that you can use with your Chrome installation today to add new, compelling features to your browser.
- LastPass: LastPass is a password manager that stores your logins in the cloud and then uses a browser extension to automatically and securely fill in your login information wherever you travel. LastPass for Chrome also has a password generator, the ability to write secure notes about a page and the ability to fill in non-password forms, such as contact forms, with your information.
- ActiveInbox: For those suffering from email overload or just want to get a better handle on their inbox, ActiveInbox can be a lifesaver. ActiveInbox works automatically with Gmail and Google Apps to help you add tags to your email to set deadlines, statuses and other critical information to make it possible to sort, view and act upon your email with ease. Completely transforms your inbox to make it easier to get things done.
- InvisibleHand: If you do a great deal of shopping online, InvisibleHand is an extension you’re going to want. If you perform a Google query for a product, InvisibleHand searches over 100 retailers to try and find you the lowest price possible and alerts you at the top of the results page. It’s a simple tool that does a great job helping you find the lowest price a product is available for on the Web.
- Diigo Bookmarks: Delicious may get most of the attention when it comes to bookmarking but Diigo is a more powerful solution adding highlighting, note writing and even list building to an already robust bookmarking suite. It even works incredibly well with their popular screenshot and annotation extension that allows users to capture and mark up an image of a website.
- One Number: There are about a thousand extensions for checking your Gmail, Google Reader, Google Voice and even Google Wave, but one number checks all of them and displays the information, as you would expect with the name, with one number. Best of all, the extension has different icons to show you what’s new at a glance, letting you replace three or four checkers with one button.
The beautiful thing about Google Chrome is that these extensions are really just the start and, with no need to restart your browser after every single install, there’s little to stop you from exploring and trying out new extensions as you go.
The best advice anyone can get for finding new extensions is to surf around Google’s official repository and see what you find. There are countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered in there.