Google Chrome embraces extensions

Google has brought extensions to Chrome, taking a giant stride closer to the functionality offered by Firefox.

Google Chrome embraces extensions

As with Firefox’s add-ons, extensions allow users to customise Chrome with new features and tools, such as the Gmail checker, which notifies you of how many unread messages are sat in your email account.

Chrome’s extensions can be viewed in a gallery accessed through the browser’s toolbar, and are broken down into most popular, recent, the top rated and featured extensions.

Google claims there’s currently 300 extensions on offer, some way short of the 10,000 currently offered for Firefox – though the number’s climbing.

Extensions have been a year coming, but Google insists the time was well spent. “We wanted to make extensions easy to create and maintain, while preserving Google Chrome’s speed and stability,” Brian Rakowski, Chrome’s product manager claims on the Google blog.

“Extensions on Google Chrome accomplish all these goals: they are as easy to create as web pages, easy to install, and each extension runs in its own process to avoid crashing or significantly slowing down the browser.”

Alongside the announcement of extensions, Google has also unveiled Chrome for Mac and Linux in beta. Extensions aren’t currently available for these versions of the browser, with Google branding them “not quite beta quality,” however they can be accessed through the developer build of the browser.

Google has finally released the beta of Chrome for Mac and Linux, a year after the browser first appeared on Windows.

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