Beyond the Browser: A Look into Google Chrome’s Top 5 Extensions

Andria Chen/Staff Illustrator

Kin Ho

Google Chrome has become the most-used Web browser worldwide according to the federal government’s Digital Analytics Program, with 34.7 percent of all internet users tackling the day with Chrome, over three times that of Firefox.

However, what makes it so successful? Aside from its swift performance capabilities and its clean interface outlook, the browser benefits from a plethora of extensions, professional or recreational. Rather than letting you browse the Google Store for hours on end, try these useful and fun extensions handpicked for college students.

#5: Momentum
Starting off the list with number five is an extension to inspire, calm and organize your day, every day. Every new tab gives you a moment of relaxation and helps you to be the most productive student you can be. Focus yourself by setting daily goals, track your to-do list and get encouragement from a daily photo and quote.

#4: Gmail Offline
We all know that school and emails come hand in hand, yet paying for a phone plan with unlimited data really bites into your wallet. Gmail Offline is an app built to support offline access to your mail, allowing for reading, responding, searching and archiving without internet access. However, this extension becomes more than just an offline app. With a gorgeously streamlined user interface, Gmail Offline provides an extremely fast response time with a singularly email-focused experience.

#3: Readability
There’s no shortage of news-reading apps and software designed to give you a clean reading experience on the Apple platform. Readability brings such ingenuity to the world of Chrome. Readability specializes not only in replicating a print experience, but also bookmarking — both on the iPad and on the desktop. Not only does it free up the clutter in your Web page, but it gives you the option to save stories to read offline. Although already in a very visually appealing skin, Readability even lets you personalize your experience; its appearance is easily configurable.

#2: AdBlock
Go a step further and get rid of distractions altogether; the name speaks for itself. With over 200 million downloads, Chrome’s AdBlock extension is easily the most widely used ad-blocking extension on the market. Blocking ads on sites like YouTube, Facebook and countless others, AdBlock provides you with a seamless browsing experience, uninterrupted and undisturbed.

#1: EasyBib
Writing the paper is the easy part. What happens when it’s five minutes before the deadline and you’re frantically looking for the guide to MLA citations, only to realize your citations are worth 20 percent of your paper? The EasyBib Chrome Extension allows users to quickly and conveniently cite any Web page with just one click. The EasyBib toolbar also allows for fully-formatted, alphabetized and Word-processor-ready citing in MLA, APA or Chicago Manual Style.

And a little bonus for University of California, Santa Barbara Gauchos is an extension created exclusively for UCSB students:

So we’ve all been in that situation where half of our screen is covered with RateMyProfessor and the other with our course listings as we switch through tabs incessantly, trying to find the perfect professor for the perfect class. RateMyGold, developed by UCSB computer science majors Natasha Issayeva, Casey Barbello and Adrian Arcilla, makes the process much easier. The Chrome Extension introduces a “show rating” option on the GOLD course selection page, allowing students to look at both their course and the corresponding rating of their professor on the same page.

Before the add-ons and the fancy customizations, Chrome already favors as one of the most powerful browsing platforms out there. The true uniqueness and panache comes when you factor in your own styles and personalization through Chrome’s abundance of extensions. From organizing to socializing or just plain entertainment, there’s an extension for that.