I have been messing with the latest version of Chrome beta version which supports extensions and bookmark syncing plus Google DNS and by god its glorious. The bookmark sync feature is really neat. Now the bookmarks that I created at work can now be used at home as well making those research items done in the office easily accessible at home as well. Previously I used to send those emails to my GMail/Ovi Mail so I can continue reading them at home or add them as bookmarks in my home PC. Granted that there is Foxmarks for Firefox and Opera has its own bookmarks in the cloud thing going on, this was the first one that I have used that feels seamless and well integrated.

Now the thing that us Firefox users who love Chrome's speed and interface been wanting for some time and it is what that's preventing us from moving into Chrome, extensions. Extensions make the browser better suited to a users needs and really improves the user experience. The chrome extensions aren't quite at the level in terms of quantity, quality and polish as Firefox but given time I do hope it does reach there. These are a few extensions that I installed and what I think about them.

1. Feedly

1

This is a very interesting extension that aggregates your Twitter, Delicious, Youtube, Amazon and Google Reader feeds into a single magazine like layout. I have not quite figured out how this works, most likely it does something like read your session cache or cookies and retrieves data that way but I was floored on how seamless it seems. It has a very Mac like it just works thing as I did no initial setup. This is one of those killer Chrome extensions to me, very much like how Grease Monkey, DownThemAll, ScribeFire is to Firefox. Nice work by the developer who made this.

Feedly Download Link

2. Shareaholic

8001

This thing is basically the Twitter Retweet, Facebook Like, Posterous Bookmarklet on steroids or as the guys from download squad said, 'social sharegasm'. It is sharegasmic I must say. This thing allows us to share web content seamlessly and I really love the way this allows the social networking addict in me share content like never before.

My only gripe so far is that this extension is just an enabler/shortcut tool, it basically redirects you the the service you use (Facebook, Twitter etc) and fills in the blanks for you. I would much prefer a meta interface that would allow me to post to all their services from a single place.

Interestingly though, rather than use the Posterous Bookmarklet to share, I use this extension to pump items into  my Posterous which in my opinion is the best social network sharing tool.

Shareaholic Download Link

3. Chromed Bird

1

I personally hate web browser extensions for Twitter, they are usually lacking in features and generally just suck in usability. However this is actually quite good. It is very much like a lightweight version of Twirl.

One thing that I would really like would be that it will automatically shorten my URLs using bit.ly like Brizzly.

Overall, not a bad Twitter client.

Chromed Bird Download Link

4. Google Mail Checker

1

This is not a bad extension per say as it allows me to know how much new emails I got in my GMail. What I do not like about it would be that for some odd reason whenever I turn this on, my laptops resources consumption level spikes like nobody's business from time to time. Whenever I turn it off, it is fine.

I am not quite sure is this the way my Chrome is set up but I have turned it off. Will try it later with this extension only running to see how it goes.

 Gmail Checker Download Link

5. Brizzly

Brizzly is actually my main application when I interact with Faceook and Twitter. It is a very neat web app that is very intuitive and very lightweight. The extension however is less than stellar, it takes quite some time to load on my browser to I am stuck with seeing a loading splash screen for most of the time. This is also probably due to the fact that my connection is not quite on par with most ISPs in the developed world. Another feature I did not quite like would be that it does not notify you about new Tweets/Facebook status updates. You will have to open the extension button on the tool bar to see whats new.

Based on those two faults, I have decided to not use Brizzly for now. Maybe in the future I might use it when they improve it. Currently I am using the Facebook for Google Chrome Extension (which will be covered later) and Chromed Bird to do lightweight interactions with my Facebook and Twitter networks respectively.

Brizzly Download Link

6.  Facebook for Google Chrome

2

This is actually a good extension that allows you to post status messages, reply to statuses, see you wall and see notifications which is pretty much all I do anyway with Facebook since I do not really use the applications in Facebook. I like the fact that I do not have any notifications from game scores/statuses which is another great plus.

A good extension if you want a no frills access to your Facebook account.

Facebook for Google Chrome Download Link

7. Google Public DNS Server

While this is not exactly an extension, it is a very good complement to the browsing experience. I find that I get to sites quicker which is probably due to a combination of the awesomeness of Google Chrome's browser performance and the speed that Google Public DNS Server resolves URL requests.

Check it out  here.

This is a very initial look at Google Chrome 4 Beta. I will post more items as they come along.

Advertisements