Getting the Most out of Google – Google Extensions & Apps
Chrome is Google’s web browser and you can use it to browse on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. You can sign in to your Google account to sync Chrome bookmarks, browsing history, extensions, and settings to your devices. It is currently the most popular web browser globally and if you use Google for Education, it makes sense to keep it in the family, so to say.
Chrome is a tabbed browser, each window can have multiple sites open in different tabs, If you don’t want a particular tab to be moving around, you right-click or control-click (on a Mac) the tab and select Pin a particular tab. A pinned tab will appear on the left side of your browser window. Unlike your other tabs, it will be smaller in size and only show the site’s icon. And this is handy if you want to keep your Gmail open.
Next to the omnibox you have the settings, and this is also where your extensions will show up, If you right click on a tab it also gives you options in addition to pinning a tab, options such as Close tabs to the right, which can be a useful option during your day-to-day workflow.
You can personalize your Chrome browser in the Chrome web store get there via the apps link in the bookmarks bar. The Chrome web store, where you can find Apps, Extensions, & Themes.
Google Extensions & Apps
Google Chrome & Extensions (part 1)
Google Extensions & Apps (part 2)
Accessible via the Chrome web store Extensions allow you to add functionality to the browser itself. Google Apps are different then extensions, apps are applications you can run inside your browser with a dedicated user interface and, typically, rich user interaction. Examples include games, photo editors, and video players; all of these categories are viable as tightly focused apps running inside the browser.
Extensions allow you to add functionality to the browser itself, many extensions install a button to the right of the omnibox, and you can always enable or disable these extensions in settings. Click on one that you have installed to activate the extension.
There are tons of Extensions available, so I recommend looking at Extensions by Google first and then looking at the different categories or searching the store if you have some in mind.
Here are a few Extensions that I recommend checking out:
Save to Google Drive – Allows you to save any web content or screen capture directly to your Google Drive.
Read & Write for Google – Allows you to hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting.
Evernote Web Clipper – Allows you to save web content, bookmarks, articles directly to your Evernote Account.
Evernote Clearly – With one click, Clearly makes blog posts and articles clean and easy to read. Clearly eliminates all distractions from your online reading experience, and even allows you to browse multi-page articles in one, seamless view.
goo.gl URL Shortner – goo.gl url shortener is an extension which allows you to shorten the current website URL with the Google URL Shortener service http://goo.gl/
Magic Actions for YouTube – Customize your use of Youtube, including volume control using the mouse wheel, auto HD capabilities, and even a cool backlight feature that boasts over 40 different color presets, and hide in-video ads
StayFocused – StayFocusd increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites.
Boomerang for Gmail – Allows you to schedule messages to be sent or returned at a later date.
Screencastify (Screen Video Recorder) – Screencastify is a simple video screen capture software for Chrome.
Google Apps are different then extensions, apps are applications you can run inside your browser with a dedicated user interface and, typically, rich user interaction. Examples include games, photo editors, and video players; all of these categories are viable as tightly focused apps running inside the browser. Whereas extensions extend the functionality of Google Chrome.
I recommend checking out the Apps for Education category:
An example of one to check out is Pxlr Editor – which is a Full featured in browser photo editor!
There are tons of tools and functionality to test out, so that’s what I recommend doing, play around, install some extensions or apps and see if this is something that you can use in your daily digital workflow.