I’ve switched over to Chrome as my primary browser. I had been using Safari exclusively for a while, but I think right now the Chrome browser is the one for me. The plain version of both of those browsers are more alike than different, but when you start adding extensions and plug-ins, some differences start to kick in.
I had tried the Rockmelt browser for a little bit and I liked it. I really liked the Facebook integration and the RSS feeds were handy as well. But it wasn’t quite what I wanted. When I used Safari, I also used a program called Socialite to keep track of and notify me to updates to my friend’s Facebook pages and my Google reader RSS feeds. Rockmelt gave me the Facebook updates, but I still had to do something else for my Google Reader. I think I’ve finally been able to condense everything into one browser with the use of Chrome and some extensions. Here’s what i’ve installed into Chrome.
1) Facebook for Google Chrome. This gives me a small icon in the upper right side of the browser and alerts me when there is an update to my wall, a post I made, or a message sent to me. I can click on it any time and a small pop-out window will show up and allow me to read all of my friends’ posts and update my status. With this I can keep track of things without having to go to the page very often or use another program. it’s one of my most used things on the web.
2) Notifier for Google reader. Like the Facebook extension, this gives me an icon in the upper right of my browser and tells me when there are posts made to any of the RSS feeds I follow in Google reader. This is my second biggest use of the web, and this allows me ready access to the headlines and the ability to mark it read or to pop right to the article in a new tab. A great extension.
3) FlashBlock. This functions in a similar way that Click to flash does in Safari. If there is Flash content in a window, it will blank out the area, but I can activate it by clicking on it. I can also whitelist sites with it as well. Flash in Chrome is nice because it is embedded inside of it. Google updates it with the the browser, I actually have uninstalled flash as an internet plug-in. No muss, no fuss.
4) A Cleaner YouTube. This really has to be seen to be believed. Here’s a typical YouTube page with this extension enabled:
It is a much better experience without all that clutter.
5) Add toAmazon Wish list. Pretty self explanatory. Makes it easy to keep track of all your greedy thoughts as you surf the web.
6) Auto HD for YouTube. Automatically plays videos on YouTube at the highest available resolution. Great for those of us with high speed connections.
7) Google Voice. This gives me an icon to click on whenever I want to make a phone call. I’m using this for as many of my phone calls as possible because I like using it more than my cruddy phone, and it’s free. This makes it a little quicker to get to it.
8) RSS subscription Extension. This gives me an icon next to the RSS link that will add it to my Google reader subscriptions. Mighty handy.
9) Wikipedia Companion. This gives me a pop out mini wikipedia in my browser. This allows me to quickly look things up at a moment’s notice and then pop out of it when I’m done.
10) YouTube Downloader. I can download any video I watch on YouTube. Since I have the Cleaner Youtube extension installed, I have to click on the link that says, “ShowComments, Favorites, etc.” on the bottom of the video. Among those other things, I get a download button. I can pick the resolution and format (flash or MP4) from the available options. This makes it really easy to get videos for my iPod touch.