Here at Android Police, we live and breathe in our desktop browsers. Almost everything we do from writing, researching, and communicating happens within the confines of our computer screens (or on our phones, naturally). Over the years, we found quite a few ways to make our lives easier with extensions, both for our jobs and our personal lives. For this collection, we want to share all of the extensions with you that help us manage our lives and our workday.
The internet would be nothing without links. They let us share everything from videos, to images, to articles. But what if you wanted to share a specific section of an article, or maybe highlight a sentence you found particularly impactful? Until now, that's been relatively difficult. A new Chrome browser extension called Link to Text Fragment promises to make the process much more seamless.
Earlier this month, Google whitelisted a few extensions for kids' Chromebooks managed via Family Link, like Zoom, Hangouts, and some educational tools — only installable with parental permission, of course. This makes life easier for those who need to rely on video conferences for learning during these stay-at-home times, but it's still a tiny selection. To improve the situation, Google is now testing support for all extensions on managed Chromebooks in Chrome OS 83+ (we tested using Dev 83 and 84).
Remote viewing parties have never been more popular, which should surprise no one. For those of you who have been watching TV shows and movies with your friends through the interwebs, you might be pleased to hear that Scener, which touts itself as a virtual movie theater, has just added official support for HBO GO and HBO NOW.
With millions of children currently studying from home, and most likely using cheap computers like Chromebooks, glaring omissions in Chrome OS have come under the spotlight. For example, those who were using Family Link to manage their kids' Google accounts and Chromebooks noticed that they can't install any extensions on them. Maybe that was designed as a security measure, but it hindered the use of video conferencing tools like Zoom and Hangouts. Now that's changing.
The Chrome Web Store is undergoing a transformation, as Google seeks to phase out Chrome apps entirely. Extensions are still sticking around, but now the company has placed a ban on paid extensions, leaving some developers frustrated.
Google Tasks sometimes feels like an afterthought, shoved into the sidebar at sites like Google Calendar and Gmail. If you rely on its to-do list functionality, but you'd like something with more of a standalone feel, a new Chrome extension turns Google Tasks into its own full-screen thing. The aptly named "Full Screen for Google Tasks" gives you a bigger and better interface that Google should have provided in the first place, though it isn't perfect.
Google Images recently tweaked how its results were displayed, replacing the old in-list expanding layout for viewing a given image with a new pop-out sidebar. If accommodating this change is too much for you to bear, there is a way to revert to the old layout, via an open source "Google Images Restored" extension/add-on for Chrome and Firefox.
Earlier this year, Google got the internet riled up when it tentatively planned to remove the APIs that content blocking extensions — including ad blockers — use. The proposed replacement API wouldn't be as powerful or flexible, so both users and developers forwarded their complaints to Google. However, the company is mostly sticking to its guns.