Google Chrome Extensions & Apps - Digital Literacy Dover

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Google Chrome Extensions & Apps

"Google Chrome Extensions and Apps are small programs that add new features to your browser and personalise your browsing experience."

Well, that's what Google says, but what is confusing is the difference between Apps and Extensions.

First, how do you get to them, where are they, why should I care, how do I add them?

Open a Tab, if you're viewing 'Most visited', click Apps at the bottom. Then click on the Chrome Web Store.

You can see which Apps I like above, but top of my list is Google Drive (lets you use extra functions in Google Docs) and Drive Tunes (lets you play audio files, in your browser in Google drive).

In the web store, just search for the App you want, and click the green button to install. Simple.

For extensions just click the button next to Apps... Search, and install.

Apps are really for the most part, with the exception of a few (like Drive Tunes) are not much more than glorified 'Bookmarks' - large icons that direct you to a website. They work a bit like Apps on an iOS device - so you can run Cut the Rope or Angry Birds if you want. 

The Extensions are very useful, many of these have some really handy features, soon you will wonder how you ever lived without them, like ...

  • Blocking Ads (Ad Block)
  • Adding grammar check as well as spelling check (Ginger)
  • Taking a screen shot of an entire web page, not just the bit you can see (Awesome Screenshot)
  • Shorten a really long web address and copy it to make it nice and neat with one click - all you have to do is paste ( URL shortener)
  • Save to Google Drive (Um... Saves images straight to your Google Drive...)

And many many more, there are all sorts of 'best of' lists online if you search for them. 

To manage your extensions (delete them, or switch them off/on) go to Window > Extensions. 

Do you have any favourites? Please feel to tell us all, just add them in the comments below.

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