Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome updated today with support for extensions. That’s the last big Firefox feature to be implemented, and the bushy-tailed browser isn’t looking so bright-eyed these days. I hardly touch it any more: Chrome has been my primary browser for months, and I’ve only had to drop into Firefox for Cooliris browsing, the odd rendering problem (I use the developer code, so this is no indication of anything) or header/footer-less printing. Chrome is just so damn fast that anything else feels all IE6, and I currently have five of its application shortcuts on my Windows 7 taskbar. It rocks.

Extensions that have caught my eye so far include:

  • Cooliris – the oddly re-named (PicLens was much better) image browser that makes finding photos for bloggy advent calendars, say, a breeze.
  • Google Wave Notifier – because Google Wave is proving handy at times, but not often enough for me to have a window permanently open.
  • Send from Gmail – makes Gmail the default email client. Adds a slightly unnecessary button to the toolbar, though.
  • RSS Subscription Extension – adds an RSS button to the address bar.
  • IE Tab – I haven’t properly tried this out yet, but it claims to add IE8 in a Chrome tab, which is useful for websites that hate third parties (bank websites, usually, because they can’t afford to support all these different browsers). It can run silently from a URL list, too.
  • Clip to Evernote – after Google Notebook died, Evernote became my primary knowledgebank for interesting doodads. Except I never use it, because opening the website/app and copy/pasting is too much like being a doctor or lumberjack or something. Enter this extension, and I can drop things in with one click. Ra.

I’d like:

  • Blacklistthingy. Timerblockerwhatsit. I’ve forgotten the name, but it blocked websites on a timer. I need to block BBC News, Google Reader and Facebook (possibly Twitter, too) from 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00. Because I am pathetic.
  • Something to remove the URL etc. headers/footers when printing websites. I use an online invoicing system and send invoices to a PDF printer, and currently have to load FF.
  • To use the ChromeMilk extension, which adds pretty integration with Remember The Milk. Unfortunately I am incapable of using Remember The Milk due to the aforementioned patheticness, manifesting in an inability to keep the lists up to date. I would like to use it, however, because Remember The Milk is pretty great, and one day I will FIX MY BRAIN.
  • Something to prevent background-tabs – opened from application-only windows – stealing the focus. Bit obscure, but if I’m clicking through Twitter of a morning (in its own application window), it’s nice to middle-click-open a bunch of background tabs without each one jumping into view.
  • A Twitter checker. Heh. This was a joke. There are a billion Twitter integrations already. I am not installing any of them. Because I like getting things done. See also Facebook.

The best thing about extensions in Chrome? They auto-update, like the browser itself. Sure, some will get uppity about new code being installed without their permission, but, you know, suck it. One of Firefox’s major problems is its astonishingly irritating update notifications for itself and its extensions – Chrome, meanwhile, updates in the background and doesn’t nag nag nag. I can see the anti-arguments, and maybe it should have an option to disable auto-updates, but in practice it’s just so much nicer.