Top 10 Chrome Extensions That Should Have Been In The Browser

June 23rd, 2013 Leave a comment
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Top 10 Chrome Extensions

Sometimes… well, sometimes browsers seem to be lacking that special something. While Chrome in particular is a great browser, there are some extensions that just make so much sense that they should be rolled into the browser itself. Here are a few quite natural extensions that we think should be part of every Chrome install!

1. TimeStats

TimeStats is an awesome extension for Chrome that basically shows you how much time you’ve spent on each website. You probably already know that you don’t want to know, but having it put in front of you can definitely help you visualize the time wasted and help you become more productive!

2. Hola Unblocker

Those of you who travel frequently (or even try to view things at work) will immediately see the value of this extension. It’s a free VPN service embedded in the browser that lets you conveniently get around workplace or regional restrictions. Definitely worth having for those crucial moments when you need to access resources outside the company’s purview (or just destress watching some funny cat videos).

3. LastPass / KeePass

LastPass and KeePass are different programs but they’re put together here because their extensions serve the same purpose: to enable you to quickly and easily access your encrypted passwords from your browser. Both of these extensions interface with your LastPass or KeePass database, making it easy for you to fill out logins without having to type in that 30 character super secure unique password you have for all your sites!

4. Hover Zoom

Of all the extensions on this list, HoverZoom is the one that, above all others, should almost certainly have been part of Chrome’s standard functionality (and still should be). The ability to move a mouse cursor over a thumbnail to view the image in its full size is one that you’ll quickly adapt to using, especially on sites like Facebook, and within minutes you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. Definitely one that should have been in Chrome’s core functionality from the get-go.

5. Panic Button Plus

We’ve all been there: browsing something you don’t want everyone else at the office to see. Rather than blindly fumbling at the Alt+F4 hotkey that might not work, Panic Button Plus lets you set a hotkey that will let you set a custom hotkey to hide your Chrome tabs. You can also lock them with a password so no one can open them after you’ve hit the panic button, saving you the awkward moment when a co-worker tries to use your PC and sees the unfortunately named “Job Hunting” tabs you’ve got open. It’s a welcome and logical evolution of the “Incognito Mode” we’ve all come to know and love.

6. User-Agent Switcher

This is something every browser should have standard, but here it is: User-Agent Switcher. When you use this extension, you can call up a quick drop-down menu of common user agents (as well as a complete one should you need to use a rarer one) and see exactly what your page would look like to different crawlers, including tablets and search engine robots. Definitely something that should come standard, and something you’ll want to install!

7. WOT (Web Of Trust)

Web of Trust is a cool extension that’s a bit like what Google’s warning malware page should be like. It lets you see how trustworthy the website you’re currently on is according to the experience other users have had with it using a fairly intuitive red, orange, and green color scheme. It’s a crowdsourced, finer variant of the warning symbol Google slaps on known shady websites, and it’s definitely help with those spammy websites that seem like they could fall on either side of the legitimate line.

8. Rapportive

It’s actually surprising that this one isn’t already a part of Google Chrome’s core functionality, but it definitely should be. Rapportive basically shows you the profile of a contact right inside your Gmail inbox. It also uses the person’s email to search on major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn so you can reach out to them on multiple platforms without leaving your inbox. It’s a nifty extension, and definitely something that could be natively implemented in the browser.

9. Google Dictionary

It’s really strange that this one isn’t in Chrome natively, as Chrome seems to offer a translate function. Essentially, this extension does right what it says on the tin: if you double-click any word on the page, it will give you the definition in a little pop-up bubble. Google does offer a “Search for” context button when you right click a selection, but it’s cumbersome and takes you from the page- this is a far more elegant solution to something that you’ll likely often encounter in the wild!

10. YSlow

I have to admit this one is a teensy bit more aimed at web developers, but it’s a phenomenal tool that should be part of every browser. It can analyze any webpage and report back what’s causing the page to be slow: whether it’s unoptimized JavaScript or massive pictures, YSlow brings back a breakdown as well as a grade that tells you how the website performs. Definitely a must- even if only for the fun factor of testing different websites!

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