Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stream Management, Search & Bookmarking – Chrome Extensions For Google+

On these reviews you will see extensions that can help you keep your stream organized and easy to view, help find posts and even bookmark those posts you like most in case you want to go back to them.

Due to recent updates on Google+ some of these extensions or features on the extensions may be broken or obsolete by the time this is posted so feel free to ignore those extensions or the feature that is broken or obsolete. Each extension has been linked to it’s page on the Chrome Webstore so you can check it out yourself.

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Google Plus Button
This is a simple extension that gives you access to your G+ page from an icon on your Chrome browser. If you like having easy access to G+, this extension is for you. Gives you the options of opening on the current tab or new tab.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

G+me for Google Plus
G+me is an extension chock-full of features although as G+ progresses some of these features may no longer be necessary but are still useful. The extension gives you the ability to collapse entire posts or just the comments and gives you a notification icon to show the amount of unread comments in real time. It also gives you a preview pop-up in case you don’t want to uncollapse the comments. It can come in very handy, especially when your stream moves quite fast and many of the post are long and/or include videos or images. One extra about this extension is that the creator is aware of the possible computability problems with other Chrome extensions for G+ and tries to help correct this under the extension options. Kinda nice of of this person. The extension also has a notification status on the icon.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

G+me for Google Plus™ (PARANOID Edition)
As per the name this is a Paranoid Edition for those who don’t like software messing with private stuff, in this case you browsing history which makes some of the original extension functions work better. If you are “Paranoid” about this kind of stuff then this extension is for you, however keep in mind not every function of the original will work properly or the same which kinda takes away from the point of this extension. You can thank the creator for taking this into consideration though.
My rating: starstarstar

QuickView for Google Plus
This extension is suppose to provide a preview box by clicking the spacebar while selecting an item, works best with Sparks. However, it seems that extension may be broken due to recent G+ updates. Creators does not seem interested in updating at the moment, we’ll check later to see if it works.
My rating: star

Stream Filter BETA for Google Plus
Are you the kind of person who likes reading what other people post but there are times a few of those you follow sometimes post things you wish you could filter out? Well this extension will work like a charm for you. Stream Filter does a great job filtering out post with the words you don’t want to see and even better, the icon gives you a list of the posts that were filtered with a link to the post in case you want to look at it anyways. Very cool indeed. The extension also has an extra feature to freeze or hide GIf images on the stream but this is currently in BETA and does not work, at least not for me. This will definitely be a great addition to the extension. GIFs can get annoying sometimes. I won’t take a star away since this feature is an extra and not necessarily what the extension is for.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

+Photo Zoom
Photo Zoom is a pretty good extension that does pretty much what it says, it zooms in photos posted on G+. It’s not perfect as some images remain the same size but all in all it works pretty cool. It even zooms some pictures to different sizes simply by passing the mouse from one side of the original image to another. It also has a few other options for keyboard functions as well. All in all it works pretty good.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Photo Viewer for Google+
This extensions is similar to the +Photo Zoom extension but without any options to change. However, the extension is currently broken possibly due to recent G+ updates that may have broken the code so I am unable to test it properly.
My rating: star

Google Translate for Google+
This extension is a must have while on G+. I have a few people I follow who post to G+ in other languages from time to time and I did find it annoying not knowing what it was. the same was for those who commented in a different language as well. Google Translate is the perfect answer. It will translate anything posted on my G+ stream and highlight it with a preset color of your choosing from the option menu. A top notch extension in my opinion although considering this is a Google site one would think this would eventually be integrated into G+. We shall see.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Replies and more for Google+
The comment and reply system in G+ is very limited but this extension makes up for those limitations. It allows you to reply to the author of the post directly or to those who comment on the post by automatically putting their name in the comment box for you. I like this, makes it so much easier to reply to someone in specific. It also adds the option to share a post to Facebook and Twitter although the icon for this feature could be a bit more obvious, I almost missed it. Would be even better if a few more Social Media sites were added to the drop down, just to have more options.
It also has a couple of extras such as Favicon notification count, desktop notification and even some keyboard shortcuts. All in all this extension works great, these extra reply options are just what the comment box were lacking. Definitely a useful extension.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Plus Minus
The Plus Minus extension is the perfect extension to compliment G+ Circles allowing you to filter your stream by the Circles you created instead of getting them all at once or simply looking at each individually. I like how you can simply select the circles you want displayed right from the left column. But the goodies don’t end here. This extension also allows you to shrink all the posts on your stream to view more content and extend all or each individually. It even widens the stream to see more posts reducing scrolling time. It’s a very handy extension with extra features such as hiding your own posts, hiding sections of G+ such as the chat section and even giving the right column a faded look (not sure of the purpose of this but interesting none the less). A great addition to G+.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Googl Plus Manager
Another Jack-Of-All-Trades, this extension takes features from other extensions and kicks them up a notch. It adds links to view specific notifications such as your own posts, mentions, photo tags and even add me notifications right in the stream. But the coolest feature so far is the translate feature. Not only does it translate the authors post and the comments but it allows you to pick what language to translate it to. Very cool if you want to show a post to someone who can’t read English, you just change it to their language if available. It also does the basics like eliminating that darn Welcome link no one seems to like (?), share option next to the translate button and the usual icon notification count. All in all an excellent extension although I am not thrilled with having adds included on an extension even though they give you the option to turn them off, still.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Mute Plus
A straight forward extension, Mute Plus give you the ability to semi-mute people on your stream (as indicated by the site). Basically, it covers up most of the muted persons post but you can still see the first line or 2 of the post. So if they posted Twitter style then nothing really does get muted, but you can post on it either till you unmute it. It guess it’s somewhat use considering it has a nice big button next to each authors picture making easy to use. Still, if it blocked the post a little more it would be a lot more effective.
My rating: starstarstar

Quick Mute for Google+
Simple yet effective, Quick Mute simply brings the Mute This Post option right to the forefront of the posts making it a one step process to get ride of those weird posts you come across from time to time, or more often than you wished, like those darn GIF images some specific people on G+ are so fond of.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Helper for Google+
Another excellent all-in-one extension, this ones got so many features I don’t know where to start. Let’s see, it adds the ability to post to Twitter and Facebook, Translate with Google Translate, bookmark with Delicious, bookmark directly to your own bookmarks with a button next to the games to access the bookmark folder, audio notification and even desktop notification of posts on your stream (this feature could use some polishing). I like being able to bookmark posts with easy access to these post thru the button on the top bar. Heck they even threw in hashtags although I don’t know how to use it on G+. 
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Golden View for Google+
In a long line of all-in-one extensions, this one has a few very useful features you might find handy. It puts a mute user link next to the names to mute the user entirely. It lets you select (or de-select) a specific Circle from the left column to set as default so when ever you open G+, it will automatically switch to that Circle on your stream (bare in mind it does refresh after opening G+ in order to apply this feature). Pictures can be hidden (good bye Gifs) and you can even hide comments on a post.  But the coolest feature is the ability to toggle the search bar to search either people or to search your stream thru Google search right from G+. This one definitely earns its 5 stars.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

G+ Stream Pause
How often have you found yourself reading something on G+ only to have the stream push the post down and out if your view thanks to G+’s real time post updates? Annoying isn’t it?This extension is definitely a must then, you simply click the icon on Chrome and bam, the stream pauses giving you a chance to finish reading that post without it disappearing from your site. The icon even gives you a count of how many new post are showing on your stream since it was paused. Just be ready to have your stream move very fast once you his that icon again to unpause the stream. :)
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Gif Stopper
Someone once said we would regret supporting Gif son G+, I believe it was Mike Acton. Man was he right. But I found a solution to this problem, Gif Stopper, and it works like a charm. Just his escape and all the gifs on your current screen turn into regular still images. Gosh it’s like magic. Heck, you can even stop them before they even start but going into the options. Great extension.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Mute Images for Google Plus
Here’s another extension for handling those annoying Gif images. The only problem is it does not necessarily stop gifs, it instead makes them blurry but still somewhat visible. Also makes them a bit smaller. But it has a drawback, it also affects regular pictures and even videos. Sorry, this is a no-no.
My rating: star

Mute Button for Google Plus
If you are looking for an easier way to mute posts then this extension just might be what you need. It provides an easy to use mute button to most individual post. It can also hide the post all together although this feature did not work for me. Either way it seems unnecessary since mute more or less does the same. Still, can be useful.
My rating: starstarstarstar

Search Extension for Google Plus
Now this is a worthwhile extension, the ability to search G+ for post and comments besides people. A feature G+ surprisingly lacks. The extension works pretty good although it would be nice to be able to get the results in order by date. Still, it’s pretty helpful when looking for that one post or comment you found interesting where you remember but a few words but forgot to bookmark it. I would also be better if the results were also on a pop-up menu like the search box, keeps from having to open a new tab just for results. None the less a very useful extension to have considering your only other alternative is to search for G+ posts and comments but will require you to filter the results.
My rating: starstarstarstar

G+ Search Engine
This G+ search extension is pretty much the same as Search Extension except it looks much cleaner and the results page is less cluttered but they both work off then same search system so the results are pretty much the same. I do. However, like this icon and the search box better but that’s just me. But it’s still has the same issue of not being able to organize the search results by date.
My rating: starstarstarstar

Circle Management BETA for Google Plus
Circle Management is currently a very basic but useful extension for those who have a plethora of Circles and find themselves scrolling up and down the list when wanting to add someone to a specific Circle. Pretty fast too, shows the Circles that match as you type. The Creator claims they will be adding more features, can’t wait to see what he will come up with.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

PinIt for Google Plus
The name say it all, Pin your favorite G+ post so you can find it easier. The extension puts a little list on the right column of all the posts you pin giving quick access, however it has a flaw in that it tends to require you to refresh the main screen often just for the pins to show on the posts and for the list to show on the column. This is definitely annoying considering the benefit of the extension. Hopefully the creator works on that.
My rating: starstar

Another great extension, bookmarking posts by clicking a little star on each post. But of course  it doesn’t work for me.
My rating: star

Enlightenment for Google Plus
G+ lacks the ability to search for more than just people on G+ without having to go to directly. This extension is suppose to offer the ability to search G+ and other social media sites right from G+ plus some other features the creator plans on adding but at this moment the main search feature is disabled so there is very little to report. I will check before posting to see if it’s working properly.
My rating: star

Gplus Voice Search
A pretty nifty extension that adds the ability to search by voice within the G+ search bar. Sadly the extension seems to be broken due to recent G+ updates. Sorry.
My rating: star

Favorite G+ Stream
Are there certain Circles you tend to look at more often on your stream than the main stream? Would you like to be able to open you G+ to a specific stream right off the bat? Then try this extension out. Just pick the Circle you want to stream as your main stream, copy the URL or the url id#, click the extension icon and paste the url or url id# and save.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

AutoSave for Google+
Ever tried to post and long, very details post to G+ but just before you hit the share button you accidentally refresh or open a link and bam everything you wrote just disappears the comment box? well worry no more, this extension will let you get back those well thought out words you wanted to post but accidentally lost simply by hitting the load button in the comment box. This definitely comes in handy.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Pulse is an interesting search extension. It can search the G+ stream and find posts based on you search terms. However, as oppose to opening the post it takes you directly to the G+ profile of the person who made the post. Kinda makes it double work. 
My rating: starstar

DownloadSupport for Google+
Coolest extension I have found so far, to be able to download images instantly from your Stream with a simply click is awesome but even more beautiful is to be able to download a youtube video right from the stream , from Chrome. I have been wanting a way to download youtube videos from Chrome but there was none, till now. It seems to only work on G+, but that’s good enough for me. Sometimes you just want to share a video when you don’t have Internet access.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

Now this extension is a double edge sword, it can be very cool and dangerous (not in a really bad, mess up your computer way, just read on) at the same time. This extension has the ability to add every G+ name on any website you visit that has G+ profile links by simply clicking the icon and selecting what Circle you want to add the people and then is reads the site and automatically adds any and every G+ profile it finds on the site. This can be really cool when you want to add, say, every Mashable employee profile on a Mashable page listing them to a Mashable Circle you created or maybe a page recommending multiple musicians or most followed G+ people to a specific Circle you create, all in mere moments.

Fair warning, using this extension too often can easily make you reach the max allowed people to be added to your Circles. Still, being able to add lots of people easily so they can see you added them to a Circle and possibly have them Circle you can make the G+ experience that much better, so long as you watch your usage of this extension. Definitely one to have with moderate use. I ended up having many people suddenly adding me within moments of testing this extension.
My rating: starstarstarstarstar

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