Chrome Extensions

chromeextensions

Google Chrome has been well known since its launch as a fast browser. It has been known for working consistently. I have been using Chrome since its launch and have been pretty happy with it. The one thing it was missing was the one thing that makes Firefox stand out so well – extensions. Firefox is so customizable it is hard to beat. Google listened to its users and decided to give us what we’ve been asking for.

Chrome Extensions launched yesterday. Since Google opened the source code for developers the extensions page was already well-stocked upon launch. I had used a couple of them during the development stage and was pretty excited about what would be made available in the future. Some of the extensions are pretty simple. Chrome lacked an easy RSS subscription tool. Now it has one. Chrome didn’t have an easy way to check for new Gmail messages or Waves. It does now. There is even an extension for the Woot of the day.

Google’s main goal was to release the extensions without slowing the browser down. They didn’t want to sacrifice the speed and quality we have come to expect from the browser. It looks like they were successful.

A feature that makes Chrome stand above Firefox is the ability to install or uninstall an extension without restarting the browser. Firefox requires a restart, and most of the time it is able to conveniently re-open all your tabs. Chrome doesn’t need to restart. Being based on html, Chrome extensions don’t need a lot of processing by the browser. I think this was a good move on Google’s part.

Now that Chrome has extensions I am going to use it even more than I already do. Will I leave Firefox? Not in the near future. There are still many reasons to stick with Firefox. As a web developer I have to have every browser anyway. Until all browsers follow the standards I won’t be able to completely rule one out…as much as I would like to nix Internet Explorer.

Chrome extensions are easy to use. They are fast. If you haven’t tried them out yet, you can find them at chrome.google.com/extensions. If you are following the link from Firefox like I did the first time, it will kindly remind you that extensions only work in the Chrome browser. If you do have Chrome installed, there is another way to get to the extensions. In the browser location bar type chrome://extensions. This will show you any extensions you have installed, and will give you a link to the extension gallery so you can find more.

Go ahead and check out Chrome extensions for yourself. I am pretty happy with them. Hopefully you will be too.

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