in 2014, Google Chrome surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in the United States, and according to color-coded maps created by Dadaviz, by 2015 it had conquered much of the world. But even the biggest browser can be made better with a few personal touches. Here are 13 Google Chrome extensions and add-ons available through the Chrome Web Store to help you get the most out of the Internet.
1. HOVER ZOOM
Hold your mouse cursor over any thumbnail image and Hover Zoom will enlarge the picture for you, no clicking needed. This comes in especially handy when searching for photos or scrolling through your Facebook feed.
2. MAGIC ACTION FOR YOUTUBE
Magic Action beefs up YouTube by adding a number of features, such as auto HD, one-click screenshots, comment blocking, and the ability to control the volume by scrolling with your mouse. It also has a fun “cinema mode” that enlarges the video player and darkens the background, so you can watch your video without distractions (and without switching to fullscreen mode).
If you can’t keep track of the many, many browser tabs you seem to always have open, then OneTab is the extension for you. It’s a website manager that consolidates all your tabs into one easy-to-manage list that’s readily re-accessible with a single click. And according to OneTab, "Depending on how many scripts are running inside your tabs, moving them to OneTab can also speed up your computer by reducing the CPU load."
4. CHECKER PLUS FOR GMAIL
Checker Plus for Gmail allows users to see new email notifications without opening Gmail in a browser tab or window—the alerts appear in an icon next to your address bar, in whatever tab you're currently using. It also lets users reply, delete, archive, and send new messages from a popup preview window in their current tab, as well as get sound or voice notifications.
5. GOOGLE CAST
If you have a Chromecast, then Google Cast is a must. Google Cast lets users stream or cast any website from their computer to their TV via Chromecast and other supportive devices, so you can see that movie, video, or photo album on the big screen.
Pushbullet is a handy little extension that connects your web browser with your mobile device. It allows users to send and receive SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Kik messages on your computer without opening or logging into another website. PushBullet also allows users to share links and files between their computer and mobile devices, or with friends and family.
7. SAVE TO POCKET
Pocket is the go-to app for storing longreads you come across at work and want to read on your commute home (or whenever you might have the time). The Pocket extension for Chrome adds a Pocket icon to your address bar, so you can save articles and videos with just one click. Everything you save is then automatically synced across the web and mobile devices through the Pocket app (just remember to open and refresh the app while you still have an Internet connection).
Instead of displaying the list of websites you recently visited when you open a new tab, Momentum gives users useful information like the time, weather, tasks, and to-do lists. It also displays an "inspirational photo" (mostly gorgeous landscape and cityscape shots), instead of a plain, boring blank tab.
9. GOOGLE DICTIONARY
Google Dictionary is God's gift to students and readers. It allows you to easily look up word definitions and synonyms without searching in a new tab. Just double-click the word, and the definition will appear in a pop-up bubble.
10. CLICKABLE LINKS
Clickable Links turns the unclickable text of any URL or email address into an actual link. So if someone were to type "Google.com" in an email message or highlight an un-hyperlinked URL on a webpage, Clickable Links will make the text, well, clickable.
11. GOOGLE HANGOUTS
Instead of having a separate app or window open, Google created a handy extension for Google Hangouts. Now you can use Gchat or send and receive SMS text messages from any tab on your browser, or straight from your desktop. If you have a Google Voice phone number, you can also use the extension to make phone calls. It’s so convenient!
StayFocusd limits the amount of time you spend on certain time-sucking websites, so you stay on task—and out of those rabbit holes—your entire work day. You set how much time you can spend on certain sites, and StayFocused gives you the boot when that time is up. For example: You tell StayFocused you can only watch YouTube videos for 15 minutes; so after one viewing of David After Dentist and two complete viewings of Adele's "Hello" music video, you'll be forced to wipe your eyes and finish that project that's due at noon.
Debating what to watch on Netflix? NEnhancer pulls ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and adds them to the movie's description page on Netflix. It also provides links to trailers, has the ability to show and hide rows of movies and TV shows on a page, and launches a pop-out player. It’s one of the best Netflix tricks you aren't using (but should be).