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How to turn Chrome into gold

Howard Wen | Feb. 25, 2011
Though Google is pitching it as an operating system for netbooks and lightweight notebooks, Chrome OS is essentially the Chrome Web browser bolted on top of a bare minimum version of Linux. The following extensions can improve the user experience of Chrome (OS or browser) to give you some of the functionality found in a traditional operating system.

5. Tab organizer

Too Many Tabs neatly shows you thumbs of all your actively running tabs, and lists recently closed tabs. You can jump to any tab by clicking on it. As its name implies, Too Many Tabs was designed to help you navigate through your tabs when you have so many of them opened that the width of their name tags has shrunk to where you cannot read them.

6. AppJump App Launcher and Organizer

By default, the icons for apps installed on Chrome are laid out in a blank tab. So you have to open a new tab whenever you want to access an app. There are a couple of extensions that make getting to your apps more convenient in different ways, and having more than one of them installed doesn't usually conflict with the other.

The first one we like is AppJump App Launcher and Organizer which sets an icon to the right of the address bar. When you click it, a drop-down menu pops open listing the icons of your apps, and there's a search box you can use to quickly find one of your apps if you have several installed...

7. App Lists From Context Menu

The second one that we like is the wordy-named App Lists From Context Menu.Once it's installed, you can right-click a blank area within a Chrome page to call up the context menu, which will have "Apps" listed among its choices. Click this, and a menu listing your apps will branch open.

8. Virtual Keyboard (by Google)

This sets a virtual keyboard as its own panel that you can drag and reposition on the screen. Click on any of its keys and the character appears in the text box of a Web page. (We're surmising this extension was developed with touchscreens also in mind.) When used on a computer with a standard keyboard, Virtual Keyboard can make it more convenient to enter non-English characters.

9. Trash Can

The Too Many Tabs extension fulfills a similar function -- listing your most recently closed tabs and letting you re-open them with a click. But we think it may be worthwhile to also install Trash Can since its saved listing of closed tabs appears to be more extensive.

10. le solitaire

Because no operating system is complete without this time waster.


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