But many of us who use Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome will already have become accustomed to the world of browser extensions for our every day use.
Extensions have almost become a necessity, enhancing your web surfing experience. Firefox, Explorer, Chrome and now Safari all possess incredible functionality in the form of add-ons, which you can install within seconds.
Just a few months ago, we reported how Google Chrome recently overtook Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser. With easy synchronisation between computers and over 50,000 Chrome extensions available for you to use, you begin to see why it is gaining in popularity.
The best browser extensions are those that feel like built-in features, so we decided to select the 10 best for essential web browsing to make using Chrome even more enjoyable:
The ability to take screenshots of the web page you’re looking at is always useful. Awesome screenshot takes that process one step further by giving you more options. Select a selection or the whole page. Once captured, you also have the option to crop the image, make annotations, plus more. Images can be saved locally or copied to the clipboard.
Clipper by Clipboard
Save anything online with Clipboards very own Clipper extension for Chrome, and we mean anything! HTML, text, images even flash applications are easily clipped, annotated and tagged and then saved to your Clipboard gallery within seconds. All clips can be viewed in your Clipboard profile, which you can then publish or keep private, should you wish to do so.
Chrome to Phone
Android user? Excellent. Install the Chrome to Phone app to your phone and launch the Chrome to Phone extension icon on your browser. In a matter of seconds you’ll be able to push web links, maps and phone numbers to your Android device and open them up when you’re out and about. A must have extensions for all Android users.
For UK audiophiles only, Radioplayer is an online radio player giving you access to radio stations from across the UK and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. With up to 320 stations, listen and rock to your favorite music, podcasts and shows straight from your browser. No additional software needed, you can store your favourite channels and set presets, which will automatically launch for the next time you tune in.
Send from Gmail
You’ll find numerous Gmail extensions on the Chrome Web store – some good, some not so good. Send from Gmail falls in the former. Unlike other extensions, Send from Gmail will enable you to compose an email right from the extensions bar. It provides a button that will create a Gmail message when clicked, using the page title as the subject and selected page text and link address as the message. Handy.
You’re at a website and you want to downlaod more than one file? Well now you can with Download Master. With a single click, the Download Master extension gives you the option to see what links are available, enabling you to pick and choose of what you want to download. Once selected, leave the rest to Google, who take care of all downloads with its built-in manager.
Google’s Dictionary extension is a joy to use. Quick, easy and effective, it does the difficult things with ease. Double-click any word to view its definition in a small pop-up bubble. Or if you like, view the complete definition of any word or phrase using the toolbar dictionary. Foreign languages are also catered for making this an must have extension on your browser. You’d be lost without it.
The appeal of Rapportive is very easy to see. An intuitive Gmail extension that enables you to create a cool social profile of any individual whose email address you enter, by pulling all the social feeds from the web. A really smart and clever add-on to enhance your Gmail experience.
Sharing online content to your numerous social channels can be a bit of a chore. This is where Add This lends a helping hand.
AddThis allows you to instantly share content on Facebook and Twitter as well as many other services. You can bookmark, print, or even translate pages as well. Options to customize and personalize your list of services are a plenty. Choose Options and you’re good to go.
Pocket (Formerly Read it later)
Don’t have time to read your favourite blog, match report or film review? Save it to Pocket instead and read it later. Pocket automatically syncs to your phone, tablet or computer so you can view your saved page at any time, even without an internet connection. Containing integrated buttons on Twitter.com and Google Reader for one-click saving, Pocket is an essential tool for your everday online reading.
An unknown gem, Stylish restyles your web pages with the help of a user styles manager. Install new skins and themes for your favourite sites and take out irrelevant content. Change colors and completely redesign an entire site. Want to remove ads from Facebook or change the color of your Twitter page? Use Stylish to do this plus a whole lot more.
If there are any extensions you feel that should have made the list, do let us know by leaving a comment.