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.
Just be aware that extensions can slow down your browser, so make sure you stick to what you think will be most useful. Some extensions can be ethically dubious or even malicious, but Chrome recently announced new restrictions on extension developers that should help mitigate that problem.
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.
AdBlocker Ultimate is a free open source ad blocker that makes much of the fact that it's beholden to no corporate sponsors or marketers. As a result, it won't whitelist or let through "acceptable" advertising. The add-on removes advertising such as banner ads, videos and pop ups, while also blocking a variety of online tracking tools. Users do have the option of whitelisting select websites whose ads they want to support.
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Checker Plus for Gmail keeps your Gmail messages within easy reach, with your inbox and newly received messages just a click away next to the omnibar. You can view your messages without having to leave your current page to launch a Gmail tab, and you can mark a message as read, delete it, or send it to the archive. You're also able to launch Gmail to take more detailed actions. The add-on can be set to display desktop notifications even when a Chrome window isn't open, and can be set to monitor multiple Gmail accounts.
Another useful Checker Plus extension is Checker Plus for Google Drive. It allows users to browse, open, search, or delete their Google Drive files from a browser button without having to launch a new Drive tab. Additionally, Checker Plus can also display desktop notifications for when your shared documents are modified or updated.
Pablo is a free app designed to help you quickly cobble up artful, social media-friendly captioned images which you can add to social network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. Designed by the same minds behind the Buffer social media dashboard, Pablo allows for quick highlighting of text snippets and selection of images from local or online sources that you can then customize with fonts, effects, and formatting to match the social media platform of your choice.
Wikiwand transforms Wikipedia's bland, serviceable interface into something with more visual punch. The extensions combines clean, readable text columns with an integrated side menu offering the table of contents, an improved media gallery, and other useful quality of life features that make reading through the world's largest crowd-sourced encyclopedia a bit less of a chore.
Rather than focus on feature-packed and granular tab management, Session Buddy is all about simple management of your open tabs, 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.