Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Keep in Touch with Friendbar

Connect with Your Facebook and Twitter FriendsNeed an easier way to keep in touch with your friends on the Web?  You have your Twitter add-ons and your Facebook add-ons.  What about one that promises to connect them all?  That is what the Friendbar add-on for Firefox is all about.

The nice thing here is that it displays a running stream of text and photo updates from Facebook and Twitter right on the toolbar, and allows you to post updates and reply from the toolbar itself.

Some of the features included are:

  • View your Facebook and Twitter updates, right on Friendbar
  • Get a stream of your friends Facebook photos right on Friendbar
  • Roll over the photos to view an enlarged version
  • Click on the enlarged photo (or album name) to visit the photo or albums web page
  • Get an alert when a new message arrives
  • Send Twits and Facebook updates from Friendbar (separately or both together)
  • Automatically create a tiny URL for the web page you are viewing
  • Click on links in text updates to open the link in a new tab
  • Toggle Text updates and Photos on and off

For those people out there having a hard time managing their friends from one web site to the next, this experimental add-on from Firefox can come in really handy.  I would like to see them add support for other social networks down the line – but since this is still a brand spanking new add-on for Firefox, I am sure even more updates are yet to come.

You can pick the Friendbar up via the Firefox add-ons web site.

Quicker Web Searches with Searchy

Need a quicker way to search the Web?

Searchy add-on for Firefox

Searchy, a new experimental add-on for Firefox will allow you to do that in a very stylish and unique way.  Once you get it installed, just hit Ctrl+Shift+K to bring up the Searchy search box, then type in what you are looking for.  You will get the results in real time as you type.

Also, another neat tip is that you can use “@” before your search to just search the web site you are on at the time.  If your not in love with the keyboard combo you must use to get it to search – that can easily be changed in the options.

It might not re-invent searching, however Searchy does give a pretty (and unique) new face to something we all do every single day.  To learn more about the development of the extension, be sure to check out the Searchy’s official web site.

Kid Friendly Browsing with KidZui

Looking for a way to keep the kids busy while you wrap the Christmas presents this year?

kidzui - browsing for kids

KidZui is an addition to Firefox that with one click turns the browser into a kid-safe environment with over a million kid-friendly websites, games, pictures, and YouTube videos.  I do have to say that this service might be a nice gateway to allow younger kids to get on the Web without much need to worry.

Another feature they pride themselves on is when locked down, KidZui prevents kids from closing the browser, downloading files, or opening other applications.

The free Firefox extension is a gateway into a free vs paid membership situation.  If you get a membership via the Kidzui web site, you can get a few more features.  You can see a comparison of the free features versus the paid features via their membership page.  You might also want to check out an alternative extension Glubble for Families.

If you have young ones around the house, KidZui might be worth playing with.

Easily E-mail and Save Your Open Tabs

Need an easier way to share a list of links you may have opened up in tabs via Firefox?  Send Tab URLs is an add-on for Firefox that will allow you to send a list of browser tab URLs to e-mail, web mail, or the clipboard.

Send Tab URLs

If you do a lot of sharing of links, this add-on can come in really handy.  Here are some of the other features Send Tab URLs has to offer:

Send Tab URLs Features:

  • Works with most e-mail applications (some limitations apply to Windows users; see Known Issues below for details). Gmail is also supported.
  • Up to 30 browser tabs can be listed; there is no limit if sending the URL list to the clipboard
  • Select the style of the URL list in the email: numbered, bulleted, or plain list
  • Optional toolbar button available for the browser toolbar

You can check out more about the extension over at the official web site, and download it from the Firefox Add-ons site.

7 Easy Ways to Make Firefox Better

It is the little changes that make things better.  The devil is in the details, and when it comes to customizing some of the Web’s most popular tools, you can often make them better by combining some of the little changes out there.  Here are seven easy ways you can easily make Firefox a better browser – or at least the popular web site tools covered that you visit the most.

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Better Amazon – The Better Amazon add-on for Firefox highlights listings with free shipping, enlarges product images, cleans up book pages, shortens URLS and more on Amazon.com.  One of the best Amazon.com enhancers for your browser.

1215505433Better Flickr – A great complication of Greasemonkey scripts to make Flickr better for your average user.  You have the Flickr buddy icon reply, more user links, photo magnifier, page enhancer and a more feature rich editor.

1215377688 Better GCal – The Better GCal add-on for Firefox is a favorite of mine.  It allows you to collapse the header and sidebar, wraps event titles, color weekend days, give week numbers and even a few skins too.  Google Calendar never looked so good!

1226620693 Better Gmail 2 – A handful more of useful features you can add to your Google-powered e-mail client.  Here you have all kinds of useful additions, from macros to attachment icons.  You even have a few more skin choices and hierarchical labels.  Also don’t forget the first one, if your not yet rolled over to “Gmail 2″.

1219862724 Better GReader – Add a few more popular Greasemonkey scripts into your Google Reader.  You can preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar, get a Mac OS X like skin, add favicons and tons more.

1215233168 Better YouTube – Enhances YouTube with Greasemonkey user scripts, that offer options like the FlowPlayer “doesn’t start till you hit play” viewer, clean “theater” view, and links to download the video automatically.

1222129898 Better Lifehacker – I am a BIG fan of Lifehacker, so why not make them “better” too?  This extension enhances Lifehacker.com and other Gawker blogs–like Gizmodo, io9 Jezebel, Valleywag, Gawker, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Defamer–with useful Greasemonkey scripts.

Which is your favorite “Better” add-on for Firefox or which area of the Web would you like to see Gina cover next?

Do We Really Need an Add-on for That?

obvious-addon

Pardon me as I put on my fake surprise pants on… wait a minute, you mean clicking on Firefox’s close button actually closes the tab your on?  After you have looked at as many Firefox add-ons as I have some of them really catch you off guard. Yes, Captain Obvious – a fast way to close your tabs is to hit Firefox’s close button!

Reading a ‘bit more about the extension for Firefox, it starts to make a ‘bit more sense:

Do you find it annoying to have to click on the small cross to close a tab ? Now with Fast Close Tabs you can just click on the upper right cross from the window to close the active tab. No more need to precisely point at the tab close cross.

Thank you Fast Close Tabs for allowing me to start my Monday off with a giggle.

Create, Save and Share Your Image Collections

There are several add-ons for Firefox that will change the way you can interact with images and galleries, and joining that clan of extensions is OutWit Images.  It is a simple, straight to the point image browser for the browser.  It does all the catching, saving and auto-browsing for you.

Image Browser for Firefox

The thing that makes OutWit Images different than other image browsers, is it allows user to save images right to the hard drive and browse from there.  From within Firefox, you can collect images from various web sources  with just a simple click of the button. 

The sleek design (as you can see above) is also worth pointing out.  It can also be personalized by selecting different background colors and views for the thumbnails themselves.  Here is a little more about this extension from the developers:

The images can be dragged and dropped into the collection basket, “the catch,” from which they can be saved directly onto the computer, displayed in a slideshow, or shared with others. It also offers a variety of other options including filters for viewing and saving the images, as well as, visible source information.

OutWit Images is designed for the collection of images, plain and simple.  You can pickup this add-on for Firefox on the Firefox Add-ons site or the official OutWit site too.

Check Multiple Checkboxes with Ease

checkboxmate

Nobody likes having to click on checkboxes, in our e-mail or on the online forms we might need to fill out.  It is a pain in the rear process, that I wish sometimes I did not have to do.  With that said, I have found one experimental add-on that promises to make the pain go away.

CheckBoxMate, an add-on for Firefox, allows you to check multiple checkboxes with ease by drawing a box around them to automatically select them all.  Here is what the developer of the extension had to say about it:

This tool is great for sites that use lots of checkboxes like a registration form or your Hotmail or Yahoo! inbox. Imagine this: Your Hotmail inbox has 10 spam messages and you don’t want to click on 10 separate checkboxes just to select them all. Now you can select them all just by drawing a box around them! To begin drawing a box, your mouse MUST first be positioned over one checkbox. Then drag to activate this tool.

Learn more about the CheckBoxMate add-on on it’s official site, or download it via the Firefox Add-ons web site.

7 Amazing Musical Add-ons for Firefox

Firefox - Your Musical Jukebox?

Most people might not consider Firefox to be much of a jukebox, however it does know how to “get down with it’s bad self” with the right selection of extensions.  Here are seven of the most popular audio related add-ons for Firefox.

firefox-musicOnline Music Player – It is a music player in status-bar. It provides Firefox with ability to play online mp3 music(local file as well), to search and display the lyrics automatically, as well as to manage the music lists.

Online Music Player

firefox-musicFire.fm – Winner of the Extend Firefox 3 contest, Fire.fm is your direct access to the extensive music library on Last.fm. Listen to music related to your favorite artist, and discover new artists and music in the process.

firefox-musicStop Autoplay – Disable the autoplay of the embedded music and movie.

Stop Annoying Autoplay Embeds

firefox-musicFoxyTunes – Do you listen to Music while surfing the Web? FoxyTunes lets you control almost any media player and find lyrics, covers, videos, bios and much more with a click right from your browser.

firefox-musicTwittyTunes – Allows to post your currently playing songs to Twitter with a click. As a bonus, you can also post the web sites you’re visiting, videos you’re watching and more!

Twitter + Audio = Bliss

firefox-musicMusic Player Minion – Music Player Minion is a client for the Music Player Daemon network music player. The purpose of MPD and it’s clients is to allow music playback on one PC (such as a home media server) to be controlled from another over the network.

Your Evil Music Minion!

firefox-musicAmazing Media Browser – Amazing Media Browser automatically searches for all embed objects in a web site and shows you a list of the source links. You can then conveniently browse through each link to see the content of the source file.

Is there another speaker-loving extension I might have missed? Which one of these would be your personal recommendation?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to get it on the list.

Quickly Jump to Un-Linked Hyperlinks

You can file this one in the folder of annoying things you find on the Web.  Not to slip into Andy Rooney here, but don’t you hate it when you find a super long link you’d like to visit but it is not hyperlinked?  You have to copy, paste, open a new tab and then navigate to it.  It should be a simpler task to tackle and thankfully the Copy and Go extension for Firefox makes it an easy thing to do.

Copy and Go!

Here is what the developer of the extension has to say about Copy and Go:

With this add-on you just need to mark the link, and choose Copy and Go from the right click menu. The add-on will simply copy the marked text URL, and will open it on a new tab. That’s it!

This makes for a great addition to any Firefox installation you might have.  You can pick up Copy and Go on the Firefox Add-ons site.