Chrome is the most widely used browser in the world. Which is a good thing, because not only does it absolutely rock, it’s also the very definition of everything a modern browser should be: open, extendable, mobile.
Google’s done a really amazing job of opening it up to developers to create brand new experiences on a tried and true platform — the desktop web.
The Chrome web store is full of great apps and extensions, especially from big names like Pocket, Pinterest, and Evernote. But there are also tons of other services and add-ons to choose from, making gems sometimes hard to find. Here are 6 Chrome apps and extensions that you may not have known about. From small shifts in your workflow to major new ways of interacting with the web, these 6 tools won’t only change the way you use Chrome — they’ll change the way you use the Internet.
Think of it as your own personal dashboard whenever you open a new tab. Momentum is like a friendly, familiar greeting — a subtle way of reminding yourself what you’re working on. As the Zapier post puts it:
“‘Every time you open a new tab, see an inspiring reminder of what you want to accomplish,’ reads Momentum’s description. ‘It might just prevent you from loading reddit or Facebook for the tenth time.’”
It’s that simple: it’s got the time, a space to write what your main focus for the day is, a quote for inspiration, an optional todo list, and a non-intrusive look at the weather on the top right. Besides that, perhaps its best feature is the collection of awe-inspiring photographs. Much better than the standard Chrome blank page, and much more uplifting too.
Describing this extension may require a little bit of a disclaimer — something like: “Don’t Try This One at Home”…but who are we kidding, of course try it at home! It’s awesome. It’s just that it may or may not be in a bit of a grey area when it comes to international content rights.
You see, Hola is a VPN proxy service that allows you to mask your IP address and assume another, granting you access to blocked or censored websites from countries that don’t allow it. This comes in really handy in Europe where a lot of US video content can’t be displayed. Sites like Hulu and Netflix are especially popular, and Hola lets you directly access them as if you were in the States.
Potential uses for this app go beyond just binge-watching TV shows, however, as it can also be used to remain a little bit more anonymous on the web, or to bypass censorship and access information in countries that aren’t as open.
The web is a beautiful place, but far too often websites bombard you with increasing amounts of gratuitous information. This page describes the problem pretty well.
Evernote Clearly will change the way you see the web. Literally. With one click of its pleasant lamp icon, Clearly strips back all the clutter on a page, leaving you with just the main text and images. And because it’s an Evernote service, it lets you highlight and clip everything straight to your Evernote account.
For a better reading and aesthetic experience on the web, turn on Clearly.
We’ve sung Buffer’s praises before, even going so far as to integrate with them to make sure mention is the only full-fledged media monitoring tool you’ll need to get the job done. But did you know that they also have a kick-ass Chrome extension letting you quickly and easily add any content to your queue? Simply click their logo on any page you’re on (or bonus tip: by left-clicking any image and selecting “Buffer This Image”) and the dialog box for adding it to any of your connected social accounts will appear.
Ever visited a website and wondered what awesome font they’re using? There’s a Chrome extension for that — WhatFont.
With services like TypeKit, there’s now more beautiful type on the web than ever, and knowing a thing or two about typography never hurts. WhatFont is a powerful yet minimalist way of quickly learning exactly what font’s being used. And it’s only possible thanks to Chrome’s robust developer tools that can pull the font names directly from a site’s HTML and CSS. If you’re interested in design or working in a team that likes iterating fast, this one’s perfect for you.
Of course, no list would be complete without our own Chrome app!
If you’re like us, you probably have a lot of tabs open right now. mention for Chrome launches a dedicated window for you to monitor, react, and analyze the web, delivering desktop alerts whenever you’ve been mentioned. And because Chrome syncs profile data in the cloud, you can easily and immediately access mention for Chrome from any desktop, wherever you are.
Have any Chrome extensions or apps that you use every day? Did we leave a great one off our list?
Let us know! Feel free to tweet us @mention any time!
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