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Great Apps and Extensions for Google Chrome

Updated on August 17, 2014

Google chrome is one of the best modern web browsers around today.

One of the best things about the Chrome web browser is the Chrome Web Store. This online store offers a plethora of apps and extensions which help improve productivity, ease-of-use, and the power of your browser. And some are just plain fun. Best of all, the vast majority of the add-ons are free.

But with so many add-ons available, it can be difficult to find the best ones. This hub will suggest a small selection of apps and extensions that every Google Chrome user needs to try.

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StumbleUpon

The StumbleUpon extension for Google Chrome allows you to display the StumbleUpon toolbar at the top of the screen while you’re browsing the web. This means you can quickly like or dislike the page you’re on, share it on social networks, or take a break to stumble your interests with StumbleUpon.

If you like StumbleUpon and use it often – especially to add your hubs and blog posts – then this extension is a must-have.

Awesome New Tab Page

The “New Tab” page on Google Chrome is pretty great. It looks clean and modern. But it’s starting to age a little. If you feel your new tab page is looking a little old and tired, you can improve it tremendously by installing the “Awesome New Tab Page” extension (ANTP for short). This gives your new tab page a vibrant, colourful look, similar to that of a Windows Phone or Windows 8. You can customise shortcuts and the layout, as well as add widgets to increase functionality.

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Theme Creator

Google has already released a theme creator of its own, but this option is much better. It allows you to create your own theme for Chrome and install it in just a few simple steps. Unlike Google’s own theme creator, this app allows you to customise everything, including text colours, the background image, and the tab colours.

Writer

Don’t you just hate how slow Microsoft Word is to load up? Don’t you hate when you’re typing something up and Word crashes, destroying all your hard work because you forgot to save it? Writer removes some of the worry from writing (and returns some of the fun). This app for Chrome is essentially a simple text editor that runs from your browser. There are a few things I love about Writer:

  • It saves your work as you type so you can never lose more than a couple of words.
  • It has a clean interface that’s free from distractions, which lets you focus completely on your writing.
  • And it’s fast. Really fast. As soon as you click on it, it’s ready to go.

Writer probably won’t replace your traditional word processor, be it a Microsoft or Open Office suite. But it’s a very handy app to use if your computer’s running slow, or you just want to do a quick bit of text editing.

PicMonkey

Not all of us can afford Adobe Photoshop, but a lot of us want to edit pictures. Well, if you’re a graphics designer, you might be best sticking with Photoshop. For the rest of us mere mortals however, there is a way to edit images for free. PicMonkey is a free app available from the Chrome Web Store which allows you to edit any image you choose quickly, easily, and online. The online part is important. You don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting a photo from your hard drive; PicMonkey stores it in the cloud.

PicMonkey has an impressive range of tools; it’s far more advanced than Instagram and it even rivals photo editing software such as GIMP. But unlike programs like Photoshop and GIMP, PicMonkey is easy to learn and easy to use. If you’re an amateur photographer or just want to polish up some holiday snaps, PicMonkey is a brilliant tool you should make use of.

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StayFocusd

Computers don’t want us to get work done. You do loads of important stuff on your computer, but the same machine offers you the internet and all the distractions it has to offer. The StayFocusd extension presents a solution to this problem. It allows you to block chosen webpages for certain time periods. For example, if you have a lot of work to do, you can tell StayFocusd to block Facebook, Twitter, and Hubpages for a couple of hours. This makes StayFocusd a great productivity tool and a crucial extension for any Google Chrome user.

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TabCloud

Every browser out there allows you to create bookmarks, or favourites, so you can save web pages for future reference. TabCloud takes this concept one step further, allowing you to save an entire browsing window. You simply click on the extension button and you are able to save all your open tabs, organised by the windows they’re in. You can even name a set of tabs so you’ll be able to find it more easily later.

So there you go: a handful of useful and fun apps and extensions for Google Chrome. Remember, apps and extensions from the Chrome Web Store will work on browsers based on the open-source Chromium platform. This includes browsers such as Comodo Dragon and SRWare Iron. So don't despair just because you don't use Chrome; your browser may be able to use these add-ons anyway.

Thank you for taking the time to read this hub. I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful. If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

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    • profile image

      devjeet 4 years ago

      It could be better if you wrote links of these plugins as well....Anyways....nice contribution.....:-)

    • Nesbyte profile image
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      Nesbyte 4 years ago from UK

      I tried, but Hubpages has that rule about "no more than 2 links to the same URL" and - irritatingly - it doesn't count links to different add-ons as being different. Rather, it treats them all as links to the Chrome Web Store and tells me off for it.

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