Google Chrome extensions have finally been released on the stable version of the browser. I’ve been playing with them for some time now on the developer version. Google Chrome extensions are similar to Mozilla Firefox add-ons, they’re here to provide you with uber cool functionality right under the browser hood. The thing I like the most about Chrome extensions is that they’re cool to install and administrate and they’re more browser friendly. They make your life easier and that’s all you need to care about. Here are five must-have Google Chrome extensions according to me.
1. Google Mail Checker
Now almost everyone has a Gmail account. The Google Mail Checker extension is an alternative to the various notification apps that you’ve been using on your desktop. The thing here is that you don’t get pop-up notifications but a decent icon that sits right on your browser and displays the count of new mails in your account. Simple, effective and cool.
Install [Make sure you click install while using Google Chrome browser]
Addicted to sowing seeds, begging for gifts, harvesting and moving up levels on Farmville? At least I’m pretty much done with Farmville updates in my feed. Annoying it may be to people like me but for a good chunk of Facebook-ers it’s highly addictive. Some of my friends’ girlfriends have complained about lack of attention bestowed upon them by their Farmville-loving boyfriends ever since the social gaming scenario exploded on the Internet. So how do these social games actually make money? Well let’s find out.
The 3 new major players in the social gaming world are Zynga, Playfish and Playdom. Zynga’s most popular application on Facebook has 61 million monthly users. It is no doubt Farmville. Playfish’s Pet Society has almost 21 million users while Playdom boasts of more than 16 million users on both MySpace and Facebook. So many users, so much potential. Zynga plans to go public soon while there are rumors floating around that Playdom might have been acquired by EA for a whopping $400 million. These companies are believed to be generating as much as $300 million annually on the sales of virtual goods.
Yahoo has recently decided on a all new branding campaign which revolves around more in-depth user customized content. Yahoo aims to connect directly to it’s end users in an interactive fashion. Their new tag line is “Y!ou” now. The new campaign is going to make Yahoo’s bank account lighter by more than $100 million. So get ready ready to swallow those ‘You’ banners thrown at you. I seriously think Yahoo could use that much money to hire talent that will help create better products for them. As it is they’re having a hard time trying to hold on to their market share as Google and Microsoft grow with better and more innovative products. I stopped using Yahoo Mail ever since Gmail came up. I was never really a big fan of their search engine either. It’s going to take more than just another campaign to bring old users back.
Good luck Yahoo!
The good folks at Gmail have launched an experimental feature at Gmail Labs which will make Gmail accessible offline. No I am not joking and this is not another Google magic trick. At times when you’re not able to access your web based e-mail account due to connection issues this will come handy.
Offline Gmail makes use of Gears. Using Gears it will download a local cache of your mail. Your e-mails will be in sync with Gmail’s servers as long as you have a connection to the Internet. In case you lose your connection, Gmail will automatically switch to the offline mode. Now Gmail will use the data on your hard drive rather than passing it on to the network. You can do all sorts of stuff you possibly do while reading e-mails on Gmail. If you write new messages then they’ll be stores in your outbox until Gmail finds a connection and when it does, it’ll send your mail. Cool! Isn’t it?
Offline Gmail will be available to users from US, UK initially in the coming few days. It’ll be visible under the Labs tab inside your Gmail accounts. And yes you’ll need to download Gears to use offline Gmail.