Tag Archives: Google Chrome Extensions

Browse the Web Using Mouse Gestures on Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser. Google is taking every possible step to increase Chrome’s growth rate. Recently, we saw Google introducing Angry Birds on the Chrome Web Store. This has definitely got a huge number of people to switch over to Chrome. However, one of the primary reasons why many people use Chrome is because of its speed and the availability of a number of extensions. One such extension that I highly recommend is Smooth Gestures, which will speed up many tasks that you usually use to navigate through the web.

Smooth Gestures is a free extension for Google Chrome that allows you to browse the Internet by using mouse gestures. The extension helps you browse the web quickly and easily, by allowing you to execute commands without having to use the keyboard, menus or toolbars.

Also Read:  Google Chrome Extensions List

The extension comes with pre-defined mouse gestures. It also allows you to set your own gestures, according to your feasibility. It enables you to use gestures to perform usual tasks like opening and closing tabs, go forward and back in history, view source code, list all stored cookies, reloading a page, and so on. It also has gestures for less used tasks like undoing closed tab, merge tabs, pin tabs, etc.

However, the extension does not work on the extension website, or other built-in chrome pages due to security restrictions (including new tabs and Speed Dial). But it does work on almost all http:// and https:// pages.

Learn How to: Install Google Chrome Extensions in Firefox with Google Chrome Extensions Manager

To begin with, install the extension on your Chrome browser. Once done, hold your right mouse button down and do the gesture shown below. It would open up the Options page for Smooth Gestures.

Smooth Gestures - Option page

The Options page is pretty self-explanatory. It shows how you gestures work and how to use them. As you scroll down the Options page, you would see several pre-defined gestures that you can use right away. If you scroll down further, you will find some difficult gestures to perform, however to start with, you can get used to the easy ones.

Creating Your Own Gestures

Although there are common gestures that are already pre-defined, you can still create your own custom gestures. Here’s an example of how I created a gesture to load Techie Buzz.

Click on the + Add Custom Actionto define an action. Click save after you have filled in the details.

Smooth Gesture - Techie Buzz

Click the “+” button to create a gesture. A pop-up window will open where you need to hold the  right  mouse button and draw a shape (gesture). In my case, I drew the letter Twhich was then auto reshaped to a properly curved design. Once you are satisfied with the shape, you can save it.

Smooth Gestures - Techie Buzz

You can see that I have added a gesture to load Google as well. The shape resembles the letter “G”. Now, if I have to open Techie Buzz or Google, all I have to do is draw a Tor “G” anywhere within the browser’s  work space or display window. Simple!

Go on, play around with it. I’m sure you will love it.

If you want to uninstall Smooth Gestures, then right click on the logo in the address bar and uninstall it.

Smooth Gestures - Uninstall

Let us know how useful the extension is to you by adding your feedback in the comments section below.

GoogleMinus Tells You Who Removed You From Google Plus Circles

We are all human beings and definitely love to have friends. However, unlike friends we meet in real life, Social networks like , and allow us to get in touch with people we have never met (or may never meet) in our lives.

That said, initially people do accept your friendship but as time goes some of them may unfollow you or unfriend you. There have been ways to find out who unfollows you on Twitter or who unfriends you on Facebook, but what about Google+? Well, thanks to a new extension called GoogleMinus, you will be able to find out when someone removes you from a Google Plus circle through a notification. As Read Write Web points out, GoogleMinus is an unfriend tracker for Google+.

Google Plus Unfriend Tracker

The extension works in , and Safari. However, you will have to install another extension called Kynetx before you can start using GoogleMinus because it is built on that platform. Kynetx is a browser platform which allows developers to build browser apps that run on multiple browsers without having to write separate extensions for each of them.

One annoying thing I found with Kynetx is that you will have to first create an account there before you can install any extension. You will have to do it only once and can then use the extension on any browser. However, you will have to install the Kynetx extension on all the browsers you choose to use this extension on.

If you decide to run through all these hoops, you will get a notification as shown in the screenshot above whenever someone decides to aha remove or block you from their circles. Find it useful? Then go ahead and install the GoogleMinus extension.

CloudMagic: Search GMail and Google Docs Even Faster

The usage of cloud-based services is increasing every day. Though good search features are offered by Google for Gmail and Google Docs, it is not always as fast as desktop search. Also unified search results across multiple services are not provided. CloudMagic was developed with these requirements in mind. It offers extremely fast, offline, search-as-you-type feature for online data.

CloudMagic has been launched with Gmail and Google Docs. CloudMagic can search across multiple Google accounts for presentations, spreadsheets, documents etc., and present a unified search result. It also offers instant email message previews as well as drag-and-drop feature for search results.

Online data is indexed and stored in your local hard disk. Relevant text data is indexed leaving out all kinds of attachments and binary data. Only a fraction of the entire data is indexed. So it occupies very little of your hard disk space. The index gets updated automatically when you are online. The indexed web pages need not be kept open for updating an index. You do not need to store passwords with any third party servers because the index is stored in your local hard disk.

Currently CloudMagic is available for Firefox and Chrome. Here are the installation instructions for both the browsers.

Installation on Mozilla Firefox

1. To install CloudMagic in Firefox click Tools > Add-ons in the menu bar to open the Add-ons window and search for CloudMagic.

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2. Click on the Add to Firefoxbutton. The following license agreement window is displayed.

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3. Click Accept and Installbutton .Then click on Install Now in the Add-ons window. Once the installation is complete, restart Firefox. The CloudMagic icon will appear in the toolbar as shown below. Click on it to open the CloudMagic page in a new tab.

 

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Installation on Google Chrome

1. To Install the plugin in Chrome open Cloudmagic homepage in Chrome and click the Install Now button.

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2. Once the plugin download is complete, click Install as you are prompted to.

3. When the installation is complete the CloudMagic icon is displayed in Chrome.

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4. To use CloudMagic you need to add your Gmail accounts first. Click on CloudMagic icon and then select Manage Accounts drop down arrow beside the search box.

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5. In the following page, one more click brings you the add account page.

6. Add as many Google accounts you wish.

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7. Next click on the Preferences link to set the search preferences. You are now all set to use CloudMagic.

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The next time you open your GMail or Google Docs account you find a CloudMagic search box as shown in the screenshot below.

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Isn’t that great? If you are power user of Google docs and Gmail, CloudMagic is an indispensable tool. Try once and you’ll love the instant search that the tool provides. With tons of emails stuffed in your mail this certainly makes your life easier. Happy searching. Do let us know if this has made your search experience better.

Completely Get Rid Of Facebook Questions In Firefox And Google Chrome

The Questionsfeature in Facebook may be useful to some folks, but I don’t find it useful for a couple of reasons.

First, the questions are more geared towards fun and virality rather than usefulness. I agree that the nature of questions depends on the people you’re connected to but I have hardly seen anyone praising the usefulness of Facebook questions.

Second, whenever there is a world event like the Royal wedding or the launch of a new gadget, my timeline suddenly gets filled with dozens of irrelevant questions in which I have no interest at all. Worst thing is that the same question appears multiple times in the timeline, whenever there is a new answer or someone posts a comment to the question

And the notifications.Mr X has answered Mr Y’s question. After a while, this gets really annoying and the sad part is that Facebook does not allow you to block Facebook questions like you can block a particular application, game, invites or a user.

Here is what the FAQ page reads

As with other Facebook applications like Photos and Events, there is no way to turn off Questions.

If you’re fed up with the spammy nature of Facebook questions and want to turn off the clutter, try the Hide Facebook Questions extension for Google Chrome. The extension hides every evidence of the “Questions” feature so your news feed doesn’t get cluttered with polls.Once installed, you will need to refresh Google Chrome and the Questions feature will vanish from your timeline.

And so will the notifications that used to come when one of your friends answered a question asked by another Facebook friend of yours.

 

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Firefox fans can try the more advanced FB purity add-on which lets you fix some other annoyances apart from hiding Facebook questions in Firefox. For example, FB Purity allows you to use the older Facebook commenting system, where pressing Enter or Return adds a new line to your comment, and pressing the “Comment” button submits the comment.

Both the browser extensions works out of the box there are no options to configure and nothing to tweak.

Open Links In Text Only Mode in Google Chrome

On my recent trip to CTIA 2011, I carried along the Cr-48 netbook from Google. On my way there I had to use the Verizon Wireless 3G service to read up news and other content.

Open Links In Text Mode

Now a 3G connection is not cheap, so I resorted to using mobile mode on most websites. This meant that I used as little bandwidth as I could. Now, there will be several other cases where you need to consume less bandwidth, and not all websites have an mobile interface so what do you do then?

If you use , there is an handy called Open links in text only mode created by Shankar Ganesh which will allow you to open webpages without any flash videos or ads.

The extension makes use of the site ViewText.org to strip down non-textual content from webpages and displays a clean version of it. It works on any link on a webpage through a right click menu option.

So if you have been wanting something to view webpages in plain text, head over to install the Open links in text only mode extension.

YSlow Extension For Google Chrome

YSlow along with Google Page Speed provide a good way to find out how your website is loading and which components are slowing it down. In addition to that, it also provides several suggestions to make your website load better.

YSlow Google Chrome

I frequently used to switch to to use these since there were no alternatives available for . However, that was until today when Yahoo officially released the YSlow for Google Chrome.

YSlow for Google Chrome works similarly to the and displays users with performance ratings and grades for a website. Most of the interface will be familiar to regular users, however, there are some new features in YSlow for Chrome which includes the ability to compare YSlow results for multiple results. Some of the other feature highlights include:

  • User experience consistent with YSlow for Firefox.
  • Added the ability to detect post onload components, including for pages that prevent itself from being embedded and/or iframed. (experimental)
  • Support for 3 main rulesets: Default YSlow V2, Classic V1, and Small Site or Blog as well as the ability to create new ones based on these 3.
  • Offenders in CDN rule are now listed as domains only.
  • Runs multiple YSlow instances (new windows). This feature is excellent for comparing YSlow results for different pages side-by-side as shown below.

This is definitely great news and one more reason to use Google Chrome. It has definitely come a long way to become one of the best browsers available today and will further increase market share.

The browser wars are about to get exciting  Release Candidate already out along with the Release Candidate for Internet Explorer 9. Google Chrome 10 was also released to users yesterday and with Opera 11.10 already in the works it would be really hard to make a choice when it comes to using a web browser.

Download YSlow for Chrome

Twitter’s Web Interface Gets #Dickbar in Google Chrome

Last week released a new update to their iOS based app where they introduced a new floating bar in the app to display trending topics (read ads) to users.

Twitter #Dickbar Web Interface

This new update created an outrage in the tech sphere and even on Twitter itself. Much of the problem with this new bar lay in the fact that it overlapped tweets. This dedicated site http://dickbar.org/ explains what really happened and how this sparked an issue and the new hashtag #Dickbar.

If you aren’t an user, you might have been spared these recent changes, but if you want to know what this looked like you can try out an for which brings the #Dickbar to the web interface. Interested? Go ahead and download it from here.

Search iTunes Store Online With Quick iTunes

I download a lot of apps and music for my thanks to some useful services I use to find free apps. However, searching for particular apps is a little bit hard thanks to the fact that there isn’t a proper web interface for the iTunes store.

The only way I can find apps is by using the search on the iPod Touch itself or opening up iTunes which is bulky and does not provide me with a good experience. Though there are ways to browse the iTunes store online, it is not perfect.

Quick iTunes search

If you face a similar problem an for called Quick iTunes will help you solve your problems. As the extension name suggests, Quick iTunes allows you to quickly and easily search for music, videos, apps and more in the iTunes app store with an easy to use interface.

Once you install the extension you can click on the icon in the toolbar to bring up the search interface. Finding apps or music is very easy too and you can search the iTunes store and narrow down the results based on different categories.

I found this extension to be pretty useful and would suggest that you download it too if you download and install apps frequently. Download the Quick iTunes extension.

Block Websites in Google Search Results With Chrome Extension

There are sometimes when you may come across websites whose content may not really be that good but who show up in the Google searches  you undertake. Now, there is no easy way to get rid of those results unless you filter them out using some sort of user scripts.

Block Websites Google Search

However, starting today, Google is making it easier for users to start blocking websites from their search results with the help of a called Personal Blocklist. Using this extension users can easily block websites from appearing in search results. Once a website has been blocked, they will not appear in Google searches you make in future.

When you block or unblock a website, the extension will send information about the URL to Google. There is no way you can change this behavior.

You can also unblock the websites by clicking on the extension icon and unblocking the website. Overall this is a good feature if you want to remove some sites from search results. 

Problems With Extension

According to Matt Cutts, this feature may be used by Google as a potential ranking signal in future results:

If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.

This would definitely not be a really great idea, because people will then just start paying others to install the extension and start blocking their competitors websites. If Google starts using such data for ranking search results, it would be a disaster at best. I would prefer using the extension as a personal choice rather than overall Google rankings.

If you are interested in trying out the extension you can download it from here.

Firefox and Chrome Browsers to Offer “Do Not Track” Options

Is it broke? Does it need Fixed?

Last month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a consumer privacy report. The commission is apparently concerned about advertising and tracking cookies, which many consider to be intrusive, but not dangerous. Tracking allows advertisers to target users with custom or localized advertisements. In hopes of fixing this issue, the report suggested that web browser makers should add a Do Not Trackmechanism.

It’s not surprising that the FTC would suggest something like this. Government bureaucrats are always offering suggestions on how free market economies should be fixed, even when they aren’t broken. However, it is surprising that only a few weeks later, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome developers have already announced that they’ll be offering Do Not Trackin future versions of their browsers.

cookie_iconpac-man-gobble firefox-logo chrome-logo ftc-logo

Firefox Support

Alex Fowler, at Mozilla, announced support for Mozilla’s Do Not Track at his blog the other day. He said, we’re seeking ways to provide Firefox users a deeper understanding of and control over the flow of personal information online. We’re pleased to be able to share one of these efforts today ….

When a web browser visits a web site, the site asks the web browser for some basic information before displaying the page. This information is transmitted in the HTTP header, and the new DNT (Do Not Track) warning will be added to this header. Once this warning is received by a web site, it’s up to them to decide whether or not to attempt to read and place tracking cookies in the browser’s cookie cache.

mozilla-dnt-diagram3

This feature isn’t available yet, however, you can get an addon with the DNT header. Here are some frequently asked questions about DNT at Mozilla.

Chrome Support

Two days ago, the Google Public Policy blog posted an article telling us how they are handling the FTC request for a Do Not Trackfeature in Chrome. They said, Today we are building on this work, and that of others, by allowing you to permanently opt out of ad tracking from all companies that offer opt-outs through the industry self-regulation programs.

The Keep My Opt-Outs extension takes advantage of already existing opt-out programs offered by the Network Advertising   Initiative, which includes 50 different web tracking services. Later, an option will be added to the Chrome browser, with no need for an extension.

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Conclusions

hangman-logoAs usual, a Government agency is looking for problems to fix so they’ll be able to brag that they are useful sometimes. Nobody’s going to dispute their suggestions in this case, and paranoid consumers may actually benefit from this initiative.

It’s not surprising that the browser developers would jump onto the band-wagon. They’ll do anything to avoid provoking government agencies from putting a collar (or noose) around their necks. These browser changes are a cheap solution to a problem that many people didn’t consider as being serious.

Sometimes, an action like this can have unintended consequences. This time, it might be a win for everyone except the advertisers. What effect will these changes have on the web sites which depend on the advertising revenue?

Enhance Your Facebook Experience In Google Chrome

By now you might have already known that is my favorite browser and I use it day in an day out on my Dell XPS as well as on the dedicated CR-48 netbook Google sent me.

Facebook

I am also a very keen social networking user and use both and extensively. However, there are few things which could be done better with both of these services. Alas, it depends on Facebook or Twitter developers to make those changes, and many things I want in them wouldn’t be considered.

However, there are several out there which can easily enhance your experience with Facebook. In this post, I will try and list out the extensions I use on Facebook to enhance my experience with it. If you are looking for a desktop tool, don’t forget to check out the most Awesome desktop app for Facebook.

Beautify Facebook

Facebook Profile Beautifier

Tired of being forced on how you can view your profile without having the options to change colors or move widgets around? The Beautify Facebook extension will come in handy then.

The Beautify Facebook extension allows you to change the background for Facebook, apply transparency to content and more. It also allows you to tweak Facebook by allowing you to hide requests, Advertisements and more.

It also provides you with handy shortcuts for accessing frequently used pages. For example, you can use the Shift + h shortcut key to quickly go to the Facebook homepage from any other page, or Shift + p to go to your profile or Shift + i to to your inbox and so on. Overall, this extension is definitely worth trying out.

You will find the Options to edit the settings for Beautify Facebook extension when you visit Facebook.com.

Download Beautify Facebook CR Edit. If you want to try out other options check out Facebook Stylist and Facebook Themed extensions.

How To Import Facebook Contacts To Gmail

I know that there are several ways to import your contacts to , one of which includes first importing them into Yahoo, and then exporting the address book, and then importing it into Gmail. However, that process is pretty long.

If you really want to import your Facebook contacts to Gmail, a   will come in pretty handy. The Chrome extension  called Facebook Friends Exporter provides users with an option to export their friends information from Facebook as a CSV file. The information you can export includes your Friend’s name, emails, phone numbers, screen names and websites. The good part about the extension though is that it also allows you to import these contacts into Gmail in a single click.

Export Facebook Friends

Once you have installed the extension, you will see an addition menu item called "Export friends!" in Facebook. Clicking the link will advice you to go to your friends page, however, the extension can also do that automatically for you.

On the next page, you will be shown a message about Facebook owning your friends and disclaimers which you have to accept. Once you do that, you can Get started with importing your friends and storing it locally.

Import Facebook Contacts to Gmail

The extension will then cache all your friends in and start importing them one by one. The process might take a while if you have a lot of friends and takes breaks in between (after it has accessed 60 of your friends profiles, otherwise Facebook will start displaying images for email address). Once the entire import process has been completed, you will be given an option to import your Facebook contacts into Gmail.

Facebook has been very strict about any script accessing contact information about your friends and have even banned users, so you might want to tread with caution here. Nevertheless, the script works and it’s hassle free, so go ahead and try it out if you really want to import your Facebook contacts to Gmail.

Download Facebook Friend Exporter

Weather Window App for Google Chrome Browser

Google ChromeWhen Google announced the opening of the Chrome Web Store, I had doubts about it. I was already pleased with the wide range of Chrome browser extensions and didn’t see much difference between an app and an extension. (What are Chrome Web Apps?) However, the Web Store has been gathering momentum and now there are tons of cool apps available.

One Chrome extension that I loved and used often was the Aniweather extension. It gives a very nice looking display of the current weather and a forecast.

aniweather

I used it up until I found something even better. The Weather Window app from WeatherBug, far exceeded my expectations.

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Once installed, the Weather Window app can be accessed by opening a new blank tab in Chrome and choosing the icon in the Apps section.

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The main screen shows an open window with a simulated view of the current weather conditions. The first thing you’ll have to do is to choose your location. The new location tab is found at the top of the page. You can enter a location by zip code or city name.

weatherbug-location-tab

Multiple locations can be added and will appear across the top of the page for easy access later. The tabs can be dragged and re-arranged as you wish.

On the right side of the weather window, you’ll see 4 icons. These represent Detailed Observations, Forecast, Weather Mapsand Cameras.

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The Observations icon displays current conditions.

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The Forecast icon displays a great deal of information. There are three tabs showing a summary, more forecasts and hourly forecasts.

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The maps function displays some really cool looking weather maps. You can zoom in and out with your mouse scroll button. The map can also be animated to show the direction of the weather coming at you.

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The camera function shows you current web cam images from weather stations close to you. In the settings, you can choose for one of these to be shown in the main weather window by default.

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That’s all I have to show you right now.

arrow-down-double-3Install the Weather Window app from WeatherBug (Chrome browser only)

Also, check out the top 15 apps at the Web Store.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This little web app gets a thumbs up. There isn’t much about the weather that it leaves out. Since it’s free, there’s no reason not to give it a try.

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Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)


Chrome Extension for Goo.gl URL Shortener

chromeEarlier today, Amit wrote about the new API for Goo.gI, Google’s URL shortening service. Google launched the goo.gl service in December of 2009. Since that time, many people have adopted it over other URL shortening services such as Bit.ly and tinyURL. The two main reasons for adoption are that goo.gl filters and warns people about bad web sites, and it’s also recently been recognized as the fasted URL shortener.

At first the goo.gl links were only offered in the Google Toolbar. A little later, bookmarklets and other browser add-ons, such as Goo.gl for Firefox,   were offered.

I recently tried the goo.gl URL shortener for Chrome.

The extension installs easily, just as most other Google Chrome extensions do. Once installed, you’ll see a little gray and green icon in the top right corner of the browser.

goo-gl-face

When you are at a website that you wish to create a short link for, click the goo.gl icon to create the short URL. It’s simple to use, but there are also many other features that are offered in this extension.

* short URLs are automatically copied to clipboard
* show goo.gl history and traffic
* add Keyboard shortcuts for posting to other services
* create short URL from right clicking on links
* create QR Codes

You can also create links and automatically post them to your favorite web services, such as Blogger, Delicious, Digg, EverNote, Facebook, FriendFeed, Gmail, Google bookmarks, Google Buzz, Google Reader, Hotmail, Instapaper, LinkedIn, Mail,   MySpace, Netlog, Orkut, Ping.fm, Posterous, Reddit, Read It Later, StumbleUpon, Technorati, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo! Bookmarks and Yahoo! Mail.

goo-gl-services

The only other URL browser extension that I’ve found as useful, is the Shareaholic extension, which has very similar features.

arrow-down-double-3Install the goo.gl URL shortener for Google Chrome browser


Best Social Web Browser For Twitter And Facebook

I use and a lot. In fact I spend more time than I would want to on those sites. Though I use for browsing Facebook and Twitter feeds, I feel a little bit of disconnect when the links I click open in a new browser window.

Layers Social Experience

I guess someone out there heard me, because I came across a really good for called Layers, which provides users with a connected Social web browsing experience. It is like the media integration Twitter has, but for everything and done in a better way.

Layers Social Web Browser

In a nutshell, Layers is a social web browser. It allows you to browse through your Facebook and Twitter feeds and allows you to preview links, videos and pictures without disconnecting you from the experience. In addition to that, it also allows you to like, comment and share content on Facebook and Retweet or reply to Twitter users from within their interface.

What Does Layers Do?

The Layers app for Google Chrome transforms the experience of surfing through the social web into an elegant, visual flow, providing users a beautiful way to get updates, view videos and share content.

  • Let it flow: See sites in a beautiful, flowing stream
  • Stop clicking.  Preview, and watch videos, maps and images in a single place
  • Connect. Watch what your friends are doing, saying and sharing on one channel
  • Discover. Find stuff you’ll love and related to stuff you already like
  • Stay up to date. Follow your favorite sites and blogs
  • Keep it simple. Get the most out of your social networks using only the options you need

As you can see, Layers tries to make the social experience better by providing you with a neat platform that rocks. In addition to adding Facebook and Twitter feeds you can also add RSS channels to layers and browse them within Layers. They are also planning to add support for so that you can read your feeds within Layers.

I have been using layers for less than a day now and totally love the experience. It is definitely one of the best I have seen and makes my social experience complete.

This is a highly recommended extension for anyone who has a Twitter or Facebook account and want to browse their feeds elegantly. Download Layers for Google Chrome.