The web browser started out as simple program that allowed access to HTML content. Today, it has become a portal for media content, real time communication, and an extensible hub with 3rd party developed functionality. The history of web browsers is very interesting, starting from the WorldWideWeb browser created by Tim Berners-Lee which was initially used at CERN. This blog post details a few of my favorite chrome extensions and apps, which I use more or less on a daily basis.
Momentum replaces the content in a new tab page in chrome with a personalized dashboard, and some very stunning background visuals. It contains a personalized message, weather information, favorite links, and a to do list.
Chrome Web Store Launcher
The chrome web store launcher enables you to manage and launch your installed chrome apps, as well as search for new apps. It is also possible to define five favorite applications that come up on top for easy access.
The dark reader extension is very interesting and useful, as it does not just simply invert the colors of the web pages displayed in the browser for easy viewing. Instead, it provides a set of filter and font options, which can be tweaked in order to get an optimal viewing experience that is easy on the eyes.
Turn Off The Lights
The turn off the lights extension does exactly what it says: dims the whole web page except the video you are watching. This extension is a simple but very effective tool for giving a somewhat cinematic experience to the videos that you watch, and also helps to focus on the video content.
The PDF Viewer extension provides a really cool and lightweight PDF reader right within chrome. I’ve found out that from the time I installed the extension, I have done almost all of my reading in chrome. The main winning points for me was the rendering/scrolling speed, and the ability to navigate between reading and looking up web references from within the browser itself.
The Gliffy Diagrams app is a great tool for all manner of diagramming requirements, from flowcharts to UML views. It has a great collection of diagram types, and some nice themes that can change the look and feel and the colors of the diagrams created.
Postman is a really great Web/REST API client, where you can test your API with HTTP requests. That being said, it is quite a function heavy app, where you can see request-response history, create custom scripts, and document your API. If your work touches on building HTTP APIs, this tool is a must.
Pixabay is a simple app which launches the pixabay site where all the images and videos are available for free. They are released from copyright under the creative commons, and can be used royalty free. A great source of free content for media required by designers and content creators.
And finally, the WordPress app which I use to create all my blog posts (including the current one). This app is a very intuitive program, with a clean and neat interface which is a pleasure to use. Compared against logging into the wordpress admin portal to create blog articles, the wordpress app is a lifesaver.
The above list of chrome extensions and applications are some that I use the most, and maximizes browser capability for increased productivity in my work and research. What tools, extensions, and apps do you use for work, play, or study? It would be great to hear about your recommendations and favorite extensions, in the comments section below…