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13 Google Chrome Extensions to Help You Get the Most Out of the Internet

in 2014, Google Chrome surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in the United States, and according to color-coded maps created by Dadaviz, by 2015 it had conquered much of the world. But even the biggest browser can be made better with a few personal touches. Here are 13 Google Chrome extensions and add-ons available through the Chrome Web Store to help you get the most out of the Internet.

1. HOVER ZOOM

Hold your mouse cursor over any thumbnail image and Hover Zoom will enlarge the picture for you, no clicking needed. This comes in especially handy when searching for photos or scrolling through your Facebook feed.

2. MAGIC ACTION FOR YOUTUBE

Magic Action beefs up YouTube by adding a number of features, such as auto HD, one-click screenshots, comment blocking, and the ability to control the volume by scrolling with your mouse. It also has a fun “cinema mode” that enlarges the video player and darkens the background, so you can watch your video without distractions (and without switching to fullscreen mode). 

3. ONETAB 

If you can’t keep track of the many, many browser tabs you seem to always have open, then OneTab is the extension for you. It’s a website manager that consolidates all your tabs into one easy-to-manage list that’s readily re-accessible with a single click. And according to OneTab, "Depending on how many scripts are running inside your tabs, moving them to OneTab can also speed up your computer by reducing the CPU load."

4. CHECKER PLUS FOR GMAIL

Checker Plus for Gmail allows users to see new email notifications without opening Gmail in a browser tab or window—the alerts appear in an icon next to your address bar, in whatever tab you're currently using. It also lets users reply, delete, archive, and send new messages from a popup preview window in their current tab, as well as get sound or voice notifications. 

5. GOOGLE CAST 

If you have a Chromecast, then Google Cast is a must. Google Cast lets users stream or cast any website from their computer to their TV via Chromecast and other supportive devices, so you can see that movie, video, or photo album on the big screen.

6. PUSHBULLET

Pushbullet is a handy little extension that connects your web browser with your mobile device. It allows users to send and receive SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Kik messages on your computer without opening or logging into another website. PushBullet also allows users to share links and files between their computer and mobile devices, or with friends and family.

7. SAVE TO POCKET

Pocket is the go-to app for storing longreads you come across at work and want to read on your commute home (or whenever you might have the time). The Pocket extension for Chrome adds a Pocket icon to your address bar, so you can save articles and videos with just one click. Everything you save is then automatically synced across the web and mobile devices through the Pocket app (just remember to open and refresh the app while you still have an Internet connection). 

8. MOMENTUM 

Instead of displaying the list of websites you recently visited when you open a new tab, Momentum gives users useful information like the time, weather, tasks, and to-do lists. It also displays an "inspirational photo" (mostly gorgeous landscape and cityscape shots), instead of a plain, boring blank tab.

9. GOOGLE DICTIONARY 

Google Dictionary is God's gift to students and readers. It allows you to easily look up word definitions and synonyms without searching in a new tab. Just double-click the word, and the definition will appear in a pop-up bubble. 

10. CLICKABLE LINKS 

Clickable Links turns the unclickable text of any URL or email address into an actual link. So if someone were to type "Google.com" in an email message or highlight an un-hyperlinked URL on a webpage, Clickable Links will make the text, well, clickable.

11. GOOGLE HANGOUTS 

Instead of having a separate app or window open, Google created a handy extension for Google Hangouts. Now you can use Gchat or send and receive SMS text messages from any tab on your browser, or straight from your desktop. If you have a Google Voice phone number, you can also use the extension to make phone calls. It’s so convenient!

12. STAYFOCUSED 

StayFocusd limits the amount of time you spend on certain time-sucking websites, so you stay on task—and out of those rabbit holes—your entire work day. You set how much time you can spend on certain sites, and StayFocused gives you the boot when that time is up. For example: You tell StayFocused you can only watch YouTube videos for 15 minutes; so after one viewing of David After Dentist and two complete viewings of Adele's "Hello" music video, you'll be forced to wipe your eyes and finish that project that's due at noon. 

13. NENHANCER

Debating what to watch on Netflix? NEnhancer pulls ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and adds them to the movie's description page on Netflix. It also provides links to trailers, has the ability to show and hide rows of movies and TV shows on a page, and launches a pop-out player. It’s one of the best Netflix tricks you aren't using (but should be).

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Weather Watch
Heated Mats Keep Steps Ice-Free in the Winter
Amazon
Amazon

The first snow of the season is always exciting, but the magic can quickly run out when you remember all the hazards that come with icy conditions. Along with heating bills, frosted cars, and other pains, the ground develops a coat of ice that can be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike. Outdoor steps become particularly treacherous and many people find themselves clutching their railings for fear of making it to the bottom headfirst. Instead of putting salt down the next time it snows, consider a less messy approach: heated mats that quickly melt the ice away.

The handy devices are made with a thermoplastic material and can melt two inches of snow per hour. They're designed to be left outside, so you can keep them ready to go for the whole winter. The 10-by-30-inch mats fit on most standard steps and come with grips to help prevent slipping. A waterproof connector cable connects to additional mats so up to 15 steps can be covered.

Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price: You need to buy a 120-volt power unit for them to work, and each mat is sold separately. Running at $60 a mat, the price can add up pretty quickly. Still, if you live in a colder place where it's pretty much always snowing, it might be worth it.

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Courtesy of gentlewasher
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This Washing Machine Fits Anywhere—and Takes Just 5 Minutes Per Load
Courtesy of gentlewasher
Courtesy of gentlewasher

In-unit laundry is a luxury that many apartments lack. Laundromat trips can be annoying (and expensive) if you’re not washing in bulk, but many people don't have the space, or ability, to purchase their own units. That's why Dutch company gentlewasher has created an affordable, hand-powered device that’s expressly designed for small loads—and small spaces—according to Inhabitat.

The gentlewasher, an at-home laundry gadget designed for small loads of laundry
Courtesy of gentlewasher

The gentlewasher is technically designed for clothing items that should be washed by hand, but it can accommodate all kinds of garments, including those that can be thrown in a regular washing machine. The zero-electricity device, which is small enough to fit on top of a table or counter, uses just five gallons of water and can reportedly tackle 12 T-shirts or eight dresses in just five minutes.

The gentlewasher, an at-home laundry gadget designed for small loads of laundry
Courtesy of gentlewasher

Simply attach a water hose, toss in your clothes and some detergent, and begin cranking the gadget’s ergonomic handle. The process is broken into a two-minute wash cycle, followed by two-minute rinse cycle. Once you’re done, hang-dry your clothes.

The gentlewasher, an at-home laundry gadget designed for small loads of laundry
Courtesy of gentlewasher

The gentlewasher costs $269, and can be purchased online.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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