From Evernote and Feedly, to Screengrab and Bing, chances are you have more than a few add-ons installed in your browser. But there’s also a good chance you couldn’t name all the ones that are installed, operational and actively working to your benefit.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll install an extension with the best of intentions and frequently forget about it. Of course, every now and again I’ll go in and uninstall or deactivate them, but there’s every chance I could go weeks or months with an under-performing browser, lassoed by a shady extension.
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There’s also add-ons that you may not know about, ones that were inadvertently added while you were installing some other piece of software.
With that in mind, Perion Network, the same company behind perennially popular email client IncrediMail, not to mention photo-sharing and social expression app Smilebox, is introducing a new Windows desktop app that crowdsources data to tell you which add-ons are being binned most often, thus helping inform your own decisions.
Following a short closed beta period, the Guardius open beta phase is opening today for the first 100,000 users who sign up, with the full public version expected to launch next month.
In a nutshell, Guardius lets users manage and control their add-ons and toolbars that have been installed on their Web browser.
In theory, Guardius should get better over time, as more people install the app. It monitors who’s uninstalling which add-on, and presents this data (anonymously) to other users.
But until the app gets to a stage where it’s being used by hundreds of thousands, or millions of users, it will unfortunately present zero data for many of the add-ons out there.
Furthermore, while the app promises to help detect add-ons that may be slowing your browser down, there is of course no way of knowing the reasons why other users have disabled it.
That said, if it garners enough data, it should largely be reflective of flawed or otherwise undesirable add-ons.
It’s an interesting concept nonetheless, and it’s perhaps unfair to judge it at such an early juncture – it’s only been available to a relatively small beta crowd for bug-testing and basic functionality. Now that it’s opening to 100,000 users, things should move along a little speedier.
“When we set out to build Guardius, we envisioned a product that would significantly improve the browsing experience for our users,” explains Tomer Pascal from Perion.
“We looked first to our own families and personal experience, seeing how surfing the Web was slowed down because of too many toolbars and add-ons installed. We wanted to help users understand what is installed, the ‘cost’ accompanied with the benefit offered by these toolbars and create a user friendly way to uninstall unwanted toolbars and add-ons, thereby providing users a more protected and more private experience while surfing the web.”
You can request an invitation to download Guardius for Windows on the link below.