Living in the Cloud: Chrome

I wish I had committed to Chrome years ago and studied its features.  Extensions make Chrome so much more powerful, offering a quantum leap in browsing features, especially when you use cloud sites like Evernote and Instapaper.  If only I had taken the time to play with Chrome years ago I would have found browser nirvana sooner.  Extensions are like apps for the iPhone.

What finally got me started was the Reader button in Safari.

You can click on any of these images to see a larger view.

Below is a web page in Chrome.

chrome

Here’s the same page in Safari after pressing the Reader button (the purple button at the top center).

safari-reader

However, I don’t like Safari, so I found Readability Redux extension in Chrome for online reading.  Readability Redux offers many layout, printing and email options. It’s icon is at the upper right, the R inside a blue square.  Readability Redux creates an ebook-like view for reading on the computer screen.  I prefer a medium font, a narrow scan line, and wide margins, but it’s all up to you.

readability-redux

Here’s my extension bar within Chrome.  The elephant head green icon is Evernote, a cloud based, free-form database.  I’ve created a notebook in Evernote called Books to Read.  By clicking on the Evernote extension the page I’m reading is saved on Evernote cloud server.

extension-bar

And here’s what it looks like in Evernote on my PC once that apps sync’s to Evernote’s cloud.  I can also read my Evernote clippings on my Mac, iPod touch or iPad, all of which have Evernote apps, or from the web.  Think of Evernote as a scrapbook for notes, pictures and PDFs with a search button.

evernote

The orange K icon is the Send to Kindle extension for sending a web article to my Kindle.  Sometimes I want to read the web from my La-Z-Boy – I’m just that lazy.

The white I icon sends a web page link to Instapaper for later reading and archiving page into subjects.  I’m all the time thinking, “Where did I read X?”  Instapaper helps me remember by tracking web pages I think are significant.  Anytime I see a  web page I don’t have time to read I press the I icon and visit Instapaper later.

The icon of an envelope, Email this Page, loads my email program, creates a new message containing a link of the web page I’m reading.  I’m big on sharing cool sites with my friends and this is a quick way to do it.  Of course I wonder how they feel about me pestering them with cool pages.

Chrome has a “sign into” Google feature that syncs my extensions, bookmarks and settings.  Anything I do at one Chrome location, on any of my five machines at work and home are all synchronized to the others.   If I add an extension while using one machine and go use another machine, I’ll see it there automatically.  If I save a bookmark on my work PC and go home that bookmark will be on my home machines.  Too cool daddy-o.

JWH – 1/30/12

5 Responses

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve used Chrome for months now but never correctly explore the extensions. And some of them will really make my “web life” easier.

    • Be sure and visit the extension site. There are hundreds of them.

      It’s a shame, but most computer users, and I’m one, just get by on the basics without exploring all the features a program has to offer.

  2. I just installed the Evernote’s Clearly on Firefox. It’s fantastic. I avoid reading stuff on the PC monitor (and usually send them to the Kindle) but this mode is really good.

  3. Btw there is also an extension for Toodledo (on firefox bu there should be one on chrome as well) which is excellent.

  4. [...] by James Harris’ blog post, Living in the Cloud: Chrome, I’ve finally taken a closer look at the Firefox extensions. I’ve only been messing [...]

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