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With the end of another year, it is always fun to take a look back. So, let’s review what has happened in the land of Google Chrome in 2016. What were the new features, notable MakeUseOf articles, and distinctive extensions? We have it all wrapped up here for you.

goodbye 2016 workstation
Image Credit: MEzairi via Shutterstock

Newest Chrome Features

Chrome users did not see a plethora of new features in 2016. But, there were some noteworthy items. Here are just a few of those from the Chrome Blog along with the month of the release or announcement:

  • Chrome speed was increased with a friendlier battery (September).
  • The elimination of Flash in Chrome (August).
  • Celebrating 50 Google Chrome releases (April).
  • The addition of virtual reality art (April).
  • What was planned for Chrome in 2016 (January).

3 Must-Read Chrome Posts

1. Chrome vs. Firefox in 2016: Which Browser Is Right For You? Chrome vs. Firefox in 2016: Which Browser Is Right For You? Chrome vs. Firefox in 2016: Which Browser Is Right For You? I want to explore why people might prefer one over the other, and hopefully those reasons will shed some light on features and aspects that you may not have considered before. Read More — In April, Joel Lee gave us this terrific and helpful piece. For those on the fence between Chrome and Firefox, Joel emphasizes that the choice is ultimately yours. But he also provides favorite features for both browsers to assist you in that decision.

The article shows why users love Firefox and why they love Chrome with great highlights for each. For example, Firefox fans enjoy the customization features, friendly interface, and privacy features. Whereas those who use Chrome like the extension selection, polished interface, and security features.

browser chrome security

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2. 10 Annoying Chrome Issues & How to Fix Them 10 Annoying Chrome Issues & How to Fix Them 10 Annoying Chrome Issues & How to Fix Them If you are experiencing Chrome problems, you've come to the right place. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common flaws and provide guidance on how to fix them. Read More — Following up on how to choose between Firefox and Chrome, Dan Price created this useful article for those who like Chrome, but run into problems at times. As the article mentions, covering all possible issues in one post is impossible. So he covered 10 of the most frustrating ones.

If you experience frozen tabs or windows, Dan explains the simple fix. In addition, you can check out how to use the Chrome Clean-Up Tool, edit flags, and delete items such as a user profile, web data file, or an extension.

You can then take a peek at the comments on the article from readers who have experienced these same issues and shared their suggestions on fixes for various other Chrome problems.

chrome task manager

3. Speed Up Chrome By Changing These 8 Flags Speed Up Chrome By Changing These 8 Flags Speed Up Chrome By Changing These 8 Flags While many people claim Chrome is a memory hog, it is possible to greatly improve your browser's speed by tweaking some "flags". Here are the eight best tweaks that you can make today. Read More — Another valuable post from Dan Price helps with those Chrome flags mentioned above. You can quickly read up on these experimental tools. Then, dive right into the eight you can and should change.

The article has you start by accessing the flag menu. Then, you can adjust flags for preventing tab reloading, improving page reload time, closing tabs quicker, and handling low-priority iFrames.

As the post states, there are plenty additional flags to adjust. And, you can add any that you have found yourself to help with Chrome’s speed right into the article comment section.

chrome flags

Standout Extensions

As a Chrome user, you already know that the selection of extensions seems never-ending. Which ones are great, useful, and worth your time? That is something that MakeUseOf strives to assist you with by reviewing and testing them to offer you terrific options.

1. The 13 Best Chrome Extensions by Google You Probably Aren’t Using The 13 Best Chrome Extensions by Google You Probably Aren't Using The 13 Best Chrome Extensions by Google You Probably Aren't Using Personalize your browsing with these must-have extensions from Google. Among the thousands of Chrome extensions in the Google Web Store, some are developed by Google. These are the best picks from Google itself. Read More — In this post, Saikat Basu starts you off with an array of Chrome extensions that you probably do not realize exist. Here are five of those useful tools:

  1. Save to Google Drive for capturing images with a click.
  2. Caret Browsing for navigating webpages easier.
  3. Google Translate for understanding foreign words while you read.
  4. Google Dictionary for simple word definitions as you browse.
  5. Google Scholar Button for quick access to educational articles.

save to gdrive chrome extension

2. 25 Unique Chrome Apps That Are Unusually Useful 25 Unique Chrome Apps That Are Unusually Useful 25 Unique Chrome Apps That Are Unusually Useful There are so many unique, off-the-wall Chrome extensions that many people would not ever search for, but would actually find unusually useful. Here are just 25 of them. Read More — In this article, I list out a large selection of extensions that are truly out of the ordinary. But as it turns out, they can be quite useful. Take a look at a few of them:

  • 30s Neck Stretch is dedicated to neck health and assists you with relaxing.
  • Shove for link-sharing lets you stay on your current page but share easily.
  • Space Station Finder for the space station location in relation to your spot.
  • Bleak for your weather with the premise of “the weather can always get worse”.
  • Rhymey for finding words that, you guessed it, rhyme with others you select on the page.

bleak for chrome

3. 13 Best Chrome Extensions and Apps to Work Offline 13 Best Chrome Extensions and Apps to Work Offline 13 Best Chrome Extensions and Apps to Work Offline No Internet on the go? Don't worry, you can still have a productive day on your Chromebook or other laptop if you do a little prep work. Here's how. Read More — This nifty list from Akshata Shanbhag provides awesome tools for those aggravating times when you are without internet. Check out five of these extensions she mentions:

  • Dayboard for managing tasks and to-dos.
  • Kami for viewing, splitting, merging, and annotating PDF files.
  • Writer for notes, journaling, and general writing in markdown and plain text.
  • Timer for counting down to a certain time in minutes.
  • Polarr Photo Editor for editing photos with filters, history, and export options.

chrome polarr editor

4. The Best Chrome Extensions The Best Chrome Extensions The Best Chrome Extensions A list of the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from both our readers and our writers. Read More — This massive list of Chrome tools from Dan Price gives you the best of the best. From privacy to productivity to product purchasing, here are just some of those extensions:

great suspender chrome

The Best of 2016 for Chrome

There is our Chrome year in review. With steps to improve your browser speed, how to fix common issues, and tons of extensions to help you work, it has been quite a year. What types of features or tools are you looking for for Chrome in 2017?

Share your thoughts on this and the MakeUseOf posts that helped you with Chrome the most this year!

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