The best thing about recent redesign of Google homepage is probably the black navigation menu bar.
Personally, I am not a big fan of the fancy black background color but considering the fact that this menu bar integrates tightly with Google Plus and other Google services, I think it’s highly useful.
When you are using other Google services like Gmail, Google Reader or Google blog search, you get real time notifications from your Google Plus account. You can read and reply to comments directly from Google’s notification bar, without having to open your Google Plus account over and over again.
This concept can be extended to Gmail and Google Reader, thanks to the Google + Enhancer Greasemonkey script
Google Plus enhancer lets you see unread email count of Gmail and unread count for Google reader items right from Google’s menu bar. Once the script is installed and you are signed in to your Google account, the script will show real time notifications of Google Reader unread items and number of unread email in Gmail, as shown below:
The script works universally, no matter which Google service you are using. In addition to showing unread email count from Gmail, the script will also shows you notifications from Google Calendar, Google Maps, iGoogle, Google News and Google Images.
Please note that the script wont work if you are using multiple or separate Google accounts for Gmail, Google Reader or Google Plus. The script can fetch notifications for the currently active session of the logged in user, so if you are using Google Apps for Gmail and a regular Gmail account with Google Reader the notifications won’t work for all services. The notifications will only be shown for that Google account which is being used last.
And since this is a Greasemonkey script and not a browser specific extension, it will work in most modern browsers e.g Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera. Also read our earlier tutorial on how to run Greasemonkey scripts in Opera, Internet Explorer or Safari.
Note: Keith has earlier developed Google Black bar hider another Greasemonkey script which completely disables the black navigation bar across all Google services. If you hate Google’s new black menu bar and have installed the Google black bar hider script, this Google Plus enhancer one won’t work at all. This is because Keith’s script will completely remove the notification bar, so the Google Plus enhancer script will never be shown in the first place.