5 Google Chrome Extensions That Could Finally Make Me Switch From Firefox

   5 Google Chrome Extensions That Could Finally Make Me Switch From FirefoxI have been using Google Chrome since it first came out and it has a lot of features to recommend itself (the speed and lower memory usage being the main sells). But there were lots of features that were lacking which prevented me from making the full switch from Firefox. With my heavy usage of Greasemonkey scripts and a few “can’t live without them” extensions, I had to keep Firefox as my default browser and have Chrome sitting on the sidelines.

But now the Google Chrome Extensions Page has lots of browser extensions you can try out. As with everything else, it is populated with a lot of junk but the gems are there if you do a bit of searching.

To use them though, you need to change your version of Chrome to the beta version. You can find it here and updating is very easy. And it goes without saying that you need to open up the Extensions website in the Chrome browser (just covering all bases here!)

Here are 5 good Chrome extensions which are seriously tempting me away from Firefox.

XMarks (Previously Known As Foxmarks)

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This is the one that has really got me excited.  One of the biggest problems I previously encountered with having two browsers was being unable to synchronize everything.   As well as two browsers, I also use two computers so being able to have my large set of bookmarks wherever I go was an essential must-have.

As long as I stayed with Firefox, I was safe with using XMarks but what about Chrome?  I briefly looked at Saikat’s suggestion of Transmute but it still didn’t feel right.   But now I don’t have to worry because Xmarks now works on Chrome too!   Just make an XMarks web account, keep it synchronized whenever you close your browser and you will always have an up-to-date set of bookmarks wherever you go and whatever browser you happen to be using – Firefox or Chrome.

Google Mail Checker

chrome2   5 Google Chrome Extensions That Could Finally Make Me Switch From FirefoxI have always been keen to have a decent Gmail Notifier but I didn’t want to install the Google Toolbar or the Google Talk client just to have an email notifier.  So this easy basic no-frills notifier extension is just the trick for me.

Once you have installed it, just open a new tab in Chrome, log into the desired Gmail account and then the notifier remembers the details.   It will also start monitoring the account and will notify you when you have new mail (as well as tell you how many new emails you have).

Since I use Google Apps instead of a regular Gmail account, I had to do some changing about but it’s very easy.  Just go to the Chrome options (that little wrench at the top right of the browser), choose Extensions and then choose Google Mail Checker –>Options.  Then enter your domain details and save it all.

Stumbleupon

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I use Stumbleupon a lot on a daily basis and not having a Stumbleupon toolbar for Chrome was a tad annoying.  This meant I was constantly having to use Firefox for my stumbling when I would much rather have been using Chrome.  True, you can go to the Stumbleupon website and start up a web toolbar from there but being the lazy person that I am, even that was a bit too much effort for me when all I had to do in Firefox was click a toolbar button.

And now clicking a button is all you have to do in Chrome too.   This is still the web version of the Stumbleupon toolbar but going to it is made a lot easier now.  Just click the SU logo now on your browser and it will instantly open a web toolbar so you can go stumbling.  When you are finished, press the button again and the web toolbar goes away. Much faster and more convenient for those impulse moments when you want to have a quick stumble or two.

Evernote Web Clipper

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I am starting to use Evernote a lot more now, especially for keeping records of URL’s, screenshots, general notes, as well as synchronizing my web account with my Android phone.  The company has now introduced an extension for Chrome that has the same functionalities as the Firefox extension, including being able to clip the whole page to your Evernote web account.

RSS Subscription Extension

chrome5   5 Google Chrome Extensions That Could Finally Make Me Switch From FirefoxOne of the really big things lacking in Chrome was the fact that webpage RSS feeds were not being “auto-discovered”.  I was so used to the orange RSS box in the Firefox address bar that when I started using Chrome, I instantly found it really annoying that this feature, which I took for granted in Firefox, was gone.

But now RSS Subscription Extension addresses that issue by putting the “auto-discover” box back into the address bar (but really this should be a default feature).

With these five extensions, a lot of the main tasks I do in Firefox are now covered – email, RSS feeds, stumbling, synchronizing bookmarks and clipping material to Evernote.    It would be even better if I had small search boxes like Firefox but I can’t complain – Chrome is definately heading in the right direction.

Are there any Chrome extensions which you are finding invaluable and which are tugging you away from the clutches of Firefox?   If so, let us know what they are in the comments.

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61 Comments -

Rick

I use the One Number extension. With one icon you get four notifiers: GMail, Google Reader, Google Voice, and Google Wave. I also use the Vertical Tabs extension because I tend to open a lot of tabs at a time. Google Tasks extension is useful too for me as I like to use the tasks option in GMail.

DivinoAG

The Evernote Web Clipper extension is useless. It takes a lot of memory, it’s slow as hell, and do exactly the same thing (it uses the same code actually, it’s pretty much just a shortcut for it) as the bookmarklet. Just use that, and you’ll be better off.

Dave P

The one extension I would need which wasn’t available last time I looked would be an Ad Block equivalent. The web is so much nicer without ads.

Gabriel Rodriguez

I prefer to use the bookmarklet for the same reasons.

Dave P

Thanks. I’ll have to give Chrome another try. Although Memory Fox has sped up my Firefox, I still like the idea of each tab as a separate process.

1fastbullet

Ah, but there is, pilgrim. You need to look at this link ( http://fanboy.co.nz/adblock ), then copy and paste the (rather long) list into your Chrome browser.

I’m not terribly familiar with Chrome- I’m using the much more secure version known as Iron- and I had the same complaint as you have expressed. In my won case, I was able to copy and past the aforementioned page into a pre-existing Iron folder labled adblock.ini and it has worked very effectively. Additionally, I have supplimented this list by using Iron’s apge source feature and extracting advertising info from it.

smart9682

need a lot more than that to switch most people how about adblock? a good popup blocker to would help, still ff for me.

Rick

I use AdThwart extension to block ads.

1fastbullet

I don’t have a bit of problem with the pop-up blocker built into the more secure Iron version of goofle’s chrome. I’m rather shocked that Iron would have this and Chrome doesn’t, if that’s the case.

But something that does irritate the hell out of me is that. lately, I am getting pop-ups in Firefox 3.5 advising me to update it to V3.5.6. Obviously, the Firefox blocker isn’t working so well, eh? Not to mention that Mozilla has already screwed Firefox up well enough in 3.5 that I have no desire to update to more of it’s screw ups.

Arun

Is there any extension for mouse less browsing like firefox?

Mark O'Neill

I took a look but I couldn’t find anything.

Esteban Trabajos

I love Chrome but I can’t leave FF until/unless Chrome gets an extension called CoolPreviews. Check it out. It is invaluable. I simply can’t browse without it.

Mark O'Neill

What does CoolPreviews do?

1fastbullet

I entirely agree that Cool Previews is essential.

@Mark O’Neill-
Its most important feature is that upon mousing across any weblink on an open page, it opens a “temporary” sub window that allows you not only to view that linked page, but other pages that are linked to from there.
If you decide you wnat to open the tempory window into a regular tab, it ahs a button to do so.
If you install it and use it briefly, you won’t want to live without it.

John’s Career Options

I also like chrome..but you can not install robo form on it. Can anyone suggest the extension?

Lee

The tipping point for me switching to Chrome was when Lastpass became available as an extension. The downside is that the extension isn’t currently working very well in Chrome, apparently due to coding changes in more recent versions of Chrome Developer. Until that’s fixed, I’m sticking with Firefox.

Zia Rezvi

Mark

Just like you I am a big fan of Firefox (for the last 3 years). I am tempted with Chrome. The ONLY extension which will make me at the very least try Chrome is Xmarks.

However, since I am a heavy user of portable apps, until I get a stable Xmarks extension (non Beta), I am sticking with Ffox.

Mark O'Neill

the current one works perfectly OK. May have a beta label but it still works.

Flavio

Well, I mostly agree excepted for the Gmail Checker (I use One Number as others said) and for StumbleUpon (I prefer Shareaholic, which includes several other bookmarklets in a one button). I’d add AdBlock + AdThwart (got both), Feedly, LastPass and some Google dedicated extension as “Select To Get Maps”

Ps3 Modern Warfare 2

I think these all are very great extensions from google chrome and especailly google mail checker and stumbleupon are my faviourites as i always use them on daily basis and they are the best to make the use very widley.

Damian P

Not mention adblock?

Even they did poor job with pop up block.

I love every softwares from Google, but Chrome….they need work on pop up block, and clear history, cookies, cache, etc when I close chrome without me being go setting and clear it out myself.

Mark O'Neill

As I indicated above, Chrome has Adblock as well as two other equivalents you can try out. I don’t block adverts when browsing so it isn’t a priority for me.

mgendas

Gotta have EasyGestures.

Aaron

I can’t believe that Lastpass was not included in this list. It does password sync and form filling and works on pretty much anything you put it on browser-wise or platform-wise.
So you can hop back and forth between browsers or OS’s without having to worry about it.
They have a bookmarklet as well in case you don’t want to install the extension on any browser.
One of the best applications out there.

Mark O'Neill

The list I made above reflects my priorities when browsing. I don’t do ad blocking so that wasn’t included and I strongly don’t believe, for security reasons, in storing passwords and user information in your browser. So that’s why Lastpass wasn’t included either.

Luciano

I think that I would only make the leap when chrome have something like the “webdeveloper toolbar”, Delicious bookmarks and download helper, which are essentials for my work browser.

Teknyka

I’m worried about Chrome being in Beta… has anyone experienced any problems with these extensions?

snlr

I read about low memory usage of Chrome once in a while, especially compared to Firefox. To me, there seems to be a lot of whishful thinking there. Every time I read an actual test (bound to a certain system of course), the result is that Firefox consumes WAY less memory. On my own machine (Windows XP, 32bit AMD Athlon, 2 GB RAM):

Chrome 4: 10 tabs, 5 extensions – 450 MB (20 processes)
Firefox: 26 tabs, 32 extensions – 280 MB

Maybe it’s different for users who only use 1 or 2 tabs at a time, and close their browser “after using the internet”, but for me personally, Chrome is not yet ready (I understand it’s beta). Also, extensions are allowed to put silly icons into the interface.

Jackson

Something wrong with you.. Please tell me which is the great processor AMD or Intel?

1fastbullet

Shut up and go away, Jackson. Maybe your Momma calls you.
Let the adults have and adult conversation and debate.

Jake Rutter

Hey,

I didnt think these extensions were that impressive, I would need a suite of tools similar to firebug, yslow, and web developer to really make the switch! Nice post otherwise for a more general web browser user.

Anvil

All those gimmicky extensions still can’t hide the fact that Chrome is made by google, and you are being tracked and analyzed on everything you do by google.

It is the most invasive browser in history, I can’t believe how many suckers are using it.

1fastbullet

Right ON, Anvil. I’m glad someone else has finally pointed this out.
And, by the way, sir, it is precisely why I’m using the Iron browser on my Windows machine and awaiting the Linux version for my other one.

Andrew

These, plus thousands of more extensions, are all available for Firefox as well, of course (as you mention). Firefox is the Swiss Army knife of browsers. Chrome has a LOT of catching up to do and I seriously doubt it’s going to be as versatile for a long time, if ever. Firefox still has momentum and is only improving. There are too many oddball but useful extensions for Firefox to ever tempt me away from it.

Firefox For Life.

Andrew

I’m also not sure how the availability of these in Chrome would put you at the brink or tipping point of wanting to switch to Chrome. Is there something intrinsically amazing about Chrome that I don’t know about? I’ve used it and it’s OK, had some problems loading some important pages (Facebook, what not) … otherwise I didn’t see the point in leaving Fierfox.

1fastbullet

And catch up is will.
While firefox is busily screwing up everything it touches these days, at least Chrome is making positive advances. Nobody gives a damn whether you stay with and suck up to Firefox, least of all, me.
I say that as a non-user of Chrome because every advance made within it will also eventually show up in the Iron browser I’m using.
Incidentally, I am still using Firefox while I also have Iron. But it has been my complete disgust with Firefox’s current state which drove me to Iron in the first place.

Yurko

I second “the speed and lower memory usage” issue mentioned by snlr, it only works with a couple of tabs witch is not very useful. Chrome is good at web apps and it gives the memory back, when you close the tab, but it uses far more resources than ff or opera when lots of tabs are open.

I use it only for apps like gmail, adwords etc and keep opera/ff for everything else.

sam

3/5 of your extensions that “made you switch” to chrome are on Firefox…

Bob

Personally my preferred browser is Opera, with firefox as a backup. not keen on chrome, perhaps in time it will improve. What I’d really like is a browser that could combine firefox and opera then I would not need to use two browsers!

Brian Hanifin

I excitedly downloaded Chrome when it was announced to include extensions and was officially available for Mac! I was very disappointed when I learned the extensions are not available for the Mac version. :(

Until I can install extensions on Mac Chrome, I can’t give it a serious chance.

1fastbullet

Ever consider dumping the Mac?

Mr.TramueLâ„¢

All I need is an extension for WiseStamp and I’m all in.

Jackson

Chrome is a really greater than Firefox. Simple, easy and faster no other words.

@com4myst_blgspt

So far I`m happy with it , but can`t figure out a solution to display Japanese characters !! I can display them in MSIE and Safari !!I tried adding tje japanese in the options with no success, please answer by twitter @com4myst_blgspt

Chris

It’s going to take a lot more to convince me to switch from Firefox to Chrome. These are nice extensions, but there’s still a lot missing. It’s a great piece of software, but is still a young browser and it’s going to take a while for it to get close to Firefox.

This seems to be the next big thing – the browser fads, as I call them.

-Chris (webjawns.com)

1fastbullet

The absolutely biggest problem I have with Goofle Chrome is that it belongs to and is run by Goofle, who is known to track it’s user movements. For that reason alone, I will not allow it on my machines. But because the idea of Goofle’s Chrome is one I like, I have chosen to use the Iron browser and watch as it grows. Imagine that- goofle without the spying.
Do I use Goofle’s search engine? No. I don’t use Goofle search for the same reason I don’t use it’s browser. Instead, I use and recommend the Scroogle (gee, could that have come from “screw Goofle”?) which returns the same results but without Goofle’s nosing around in my privacy.

I wish Goofle Chrome all the success in the world because look forward to having an alternative to the sadly deteriorating Firefox browser that was once king of browsers. I also look forward to using Goofles advances against them Raging against the machine, so to speak.
I don’t give a rat’s ass what everybody else does because I have my own mind and don’t simply follow the parade for the sake of following.

Sterex

Hmm.. I understand you are terribly upset with the recent changes to FF. Instead of mentioning the fact that you are upset, why don’t you enumerate those changes to FF that have gotten you to look for an alternative to the king of browsers?

1fastbullet

What was it I said that made you believe I haven’t expressed my dissatisfaction and reasons to Mozilla?
Believe me, I have and I’m sorry I led you to believe all I do is comment on this kind of medium but don’t have sense enough to go to the source of my complaint.
I’ll also tell you that I’m far better at going to Mozilla with these issues than they are about responding to them.
Could it be that I’m only one in a long string of unhappy users?

infamous

give me on chrome
coolpreviews
adblock plus
greasemonkey
download status bar
ie tab
speed dial

ill switch to chrome right away

Colin Garrard

You must be joking, fancy leaving Firefox just for that crap.

Levent

According to me swtiching to chrome can only be real when adblock extension is available.

Sarah

While Chrome is fun to use, Firefox never fail to impress me all the time. StumbleUpon extension for Chrome is truly a gem.

meme

You forgot “Letting use install to other drive letters and not forcing us to use C: because not everyone strictly uses their C: drive for software.

Walter Brewer Jr.

FYI: The FF 3.6 RC1 is a really good. It solved my speed problems with Firefox. Its very smooth compared to 3.5 and ended my interest with Chrome. IMO Chrome is not that fast with extensions and without NoScript it’s really not an option (for me). 3.6 RC1 made me realize the FF is still in the game.

1fastbullet

Walter,

This is good to hear. I hope that, by the time it bscomes an RTM, the good folks at Mozilla don’t figure out a way to screw it up. I was once a very happy user of Firefox and am responsible for a fair number of people making the switch to it from IE. If it would return to it’s previous state of secure reliability, I would be more than happy to return to it as my full time browser and dump all the other junk. Please keep up posted.

Incidentally, in an earlier post I mentioned the recent popup nags I was getting from Mozilla. I’ve completely eliminated the nags by going into about:config and altering a couple of the app.update settings. If you make alterations to about:config, do them cautiously and, I recommend, one at a time. In the case of update settings, I doubt there is much risk to your machine, but because I’m not positive of this, I hesitate to say precisely the settings I altered on my machine.

As a final note, I concur with others who have stated that Chrome (in my case, Iron) seems to completely loose its speed advantage when more than a couple tabs are in use. Frankly, it becomes slow to the point of nearly freezing.
For me, the novelty has worn off and, with the current lack of add-ons and extensions, I find myself reverting to Firefox most often.

1fastbullet

Walter,

This is good to hear. I hope that, by the time it becomes an RTM, the good folks at Mozilla don’t figure out a way to screw it up. I was once a very happy user of Firefox and am responsible for a fair number of people making the switch to it from IE. If it would return to it’s previous state of secure reliability, I would be more than happy to return to it as my full time browser and dump all the other junk. Please keep us posted.

Incidentally, in an earlier post I mentioned the recent popup nags I was getting from Mozilla. I’ve completely eliminated the nags by going into about:config and altering a couple of the app.update settings. If you make alterations to about:config, do them cautiously and, I recommend, one at a time. In the case of update settings, I doubt there is much risk to your machine, but because I’m not positive of this, I hesitate to say precisely the settings I altered on my machine.

As a final note, I concur with others who have stated that Chrome (in my case, Iron) seems to completely loose its speed advantage when more than a couple tabs are in use. Frankly, it becomes slow to the point of nearly freezing.
For me, the novelty has worn off and, with the current lack of add-ons and extensions, I find myself reverting to Firefox most often.

Shane

Last I checked, Evernotes was worthless, and Firefox had the other four…and Chrome hasn’t given me anything that Firefox doesn’t. Sorry.

Steaphan

Thankyou so much man. I am a busy blogger right now and working on a few different projects with different organisations, So i needed the use of StumbleUpon, easy access to Gmail, and foxmarks. Despite my love for the uncluttered interface and quick load time of chrome, It could just never cut-it for my work. Now I am in heaven – seriously love it mate, thanx.