Browser extensions are fantastic but, as superheroes have taught us, with great power comes great responsibility. Malicious developers can hide bad behaviour inside useful extensions and when they slip through the screening process, the only option left to the likes of Mozilla and Google is to ban them. Mozilla has updated its blocked add-on list and it includes an extension the company itself gave the thumbs-up just this week.
Tagged With extensions
If you've stumbled across an image on the internet — perhaps on your favourite social media site — and you want to know more about it, you can always ask the person responsible for the post. Odds are good that they probably just cribbed the image from somewhere else and don't know any more about where it came from. But that's fine. You can also take on the detective work yourself and there are plenty of resources to help you out.
h264ify is a Chrome extension that's been around for a while. What it does is force YouTube to play videos using the h264 codec, rather than VP9, as the former has wider hardware acceleration support. Unfortunately, if you're still on Windows 7 or 8.1 and use Chrome, it doesn't matter if you bought your GPU yesterday — VP9 won't be hardware-accelerated in Chrome.
It will come as no surprise that, as the editor of a website devoted to productivity, I'm obsessive about refining the details of my tech life to be certain every element is helping me get the job done. While I have software that I swear by (WriteRoom, Deckset, Evernote), I'm more of an evangelist for browser extensions.
My favourite Chrome extensions are lightweight, easy-to-install and usually free, but the effect they have on my productivity is profound. These are the extensions that I love most fervently and recommend most frequently.
Chrome, Firefox: It's been a rough week for many of us and it's likely you're a little stressed out right now.
Chrome: I can't recall the last time I didn't install an extension from the Google's Chrome Web Store. However, developers - up until now - have been allowed to offer their extensions as inline downloads. In other words, they could drop a download button on a website, you'd click on it and see a typical installation confirmation dialogue (as if you were installing the extension from the Chrome Web Store itself), and before you knew it, you were +1 to extensions.
If you're a Chrome power-user, you'll eventually want to set up an automatic URL redirect. Maybe you want to watch all your YouTube videos on a minimalist site; maybe you love — or hate — going to the mobile version of a site. Maybe you just make the same typo every time you enter a certain URL.
With Chrome 66, Google made some hefty changes to the way autoplaying content works — killing it, essentially. Unfortunately, this has broken a number of extensions (such as Imagus) preventing them from interacting with animated, cross-site images.
Chrome/Firefox: If you've used a web browser at any point in the past eight years, you've surely heard of the extension Turn Off the Lights (Chrome, Firefox). It's the best way to automatically embiggen your YouTube videos when you start watching and, of course, dim your browser's background for a prettier view (even if you're already using YouTube's dark mode).
Not every Chrome or Firefox extension you use has to be one-hundred-per cent dedicated to productivity or utility. Sometimes, it's just nice to look at something pretty. And in the case of Earth View from Google Earth, I don't really care if it eats up my browser's memory or otherwise impacts its performance in any way. It makes me happy, and it will make you happy too -- exactly why this is our Extension of the Week.
Letting you mute entire websites in Chrome may be the best upgrade Google ever made to the browser, but it could still be better. Sure, muting every site with annoying pop-up videos is great, but what if you didn't have to deal any audio at all? Thanks to AutoMute, you'll never have to hear another peep out of your browser ever again.
Google's new iMessage extensions allow iPhone users to drop all sorts of Google-curated information into their chats: from weather forecasts and nearby restaurants to trending YouTube videos and amusing GIFs. It's a much faster way to communicate and one of our favourite extensions in a long while. Here's how to get it on your phone right now.
It can be hard to start an email, but it feels even worse when you're going insane after sending the same canned response to a question for the ninth time this week. If you'd like a little help replying to the messages in your ever-growing inbox, EasyEmail uses machine learning (along with your email data) to auto-generate potential replies you're too lazy to type yourself. (Whether the Chrome extension's features are worth a mild invasion of privacy is up to you.)
Frozen webpages, a precursor to the ever-frustrating dead tab, can be intensely frustrating -- all the more so when you can't accurately identify what's causing the slowdown or random dead tab. If you want to learn more about what windows or processes are demanding too much of your memory and processing power, technology site gHacks suggests you look under the hood of Google Chrome using its built-in task manager.
Reddit's endless stream of memes, comments, and self-referential jokes can be intimidating to newcomers. Even if you've been reading the site for years there's still plenty of new subreddits to discover. But no matter how well you know Reddit, you could be having an even better experience by installing a few extra Chrome extensions.
It feels like there's a hundred different ways of killing the sound from websites and tabs in Chrome, but what about upping the volume? Normally, you could just turn up the dial on your speakers, or stuff around with the your operating system's audio mixer, but these won't do if you want to target a single tab.
Google killed the View Image button recently and while it's easy enough to work around, it'd be even better if there was a way to restore it. Hang on... isn't that what browser extensions and addons are for?
Viruses don't want to be removed, so the nastier ones will fight to stay put by disabling protection software, cloaking their presence and even generating fake windows and dialog boxes to give you a bum steer. Looks like malicious extensions are getting in on the action too, doing whatever they can to evade uninstallation.