Google Chrome is the most-used Web browser worldwide, according to Stat Counter. With its swift performance, clean interface and easy syncing with mobile devices, that popularity is easy to understand. But Google's browser also benefits from plenty of useful extensions available on the Chrome Web Store. Here are the best ones. Note: Extensions can slow down your browser, so make sure you stick to what you think will be most useful.
Data compression for more efficient browsing isn't exactly something new, as it's being built in to some browsers like Opera. Now Chrome users can also enjoy bandwidth savings with Google's Data Saver extension, a free Chrome add-on that uses Google's servers to compress website data before sending it's displayed, which can lead to large data savings. Users can look up further details as to how much data they're saving and consuming over time. As a security measure, pages accessed through HTTPS or Chrome's incognito mode are left uncompressed.
Abine's Blur service functions as password manager, email anonymizer, and credit card masker all rolled up into one convenient package in the Chrome extension. Users can create and store strong passwords, and the service syncs your passwords across desktop and iOS devices for ease of use. Blur also includes tracker blocking for a variety of web trackers, and premium users of the service can also avail of anonymized credit cards to mask your online purchases.
The Better History extension augments the built-in functionality of Chrome's History tab, augmenting the traditional vertical timeline with a horizontal calendar for easy jumping to specific dates and even hours. Expanded search tools allow you to search through your history for terms in a page title, domain or within the page itself.
Rather than focus on feature packed and granular tab management, Session Buddy is all about simple management of your open tabs or for quickly relaunching previous saved sessions or restoring your open tabs after a crash. In addition to the chronologically sorted session display, users can also rename previous sessions and sort tabs into convenient groupings for easy topical relaunching. Search features let you find what you're looking for in open or saved tabs, and export features let you spit out links in email, document or post-friendly formats.
SpeakIt is a neat extension that uses text-to-speech technology to read selected onscreen text to you complete with language autodetection. Simply select the text you want read and hit the extension's button or press a keyboard shortcut, and SpeakIt reads the selection out. Users can configure reading speed, the keyboard shortcut, and choose from a selection of reader voices.
Microsoft's OneNote is a great workplace productivity tool, especially when combined with the rest of the Office package. The OneNote Web Clipper extension for Chrome lets users quickly clip all or part of a web page for easy reference and editing in OneNote, synced across your devices. The web clipper is a feature packed tool that can trim away ads and clutter, adjust fonts, highlight text, or grab select images or videos that you can then refer back to in the OneNote app.
Readability may be gone, but that doesn't mean that you can't get clean and easily readable versions of your favorite webpages, articles, and news anymore. Mercury Reader strips out surrounding webpage clutter, formatting, and advertising, for a clean, easily readable view for your comfort, while also including social sharing features and Send to Kindle functionality.