Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Browse Faster with SmarterFox

SmarterFox Helps You Browse Faster Another jewel in the ruff I discovered when browsing around the Mozilla add-ons site was SmarterFox.  What does this add-on to the browser do for you?  It helps make browsing the web just that much faster…and smarter!

Where are the features?  Here are some of the thinks I liked about this awesome add-on to your browser:

  • Search by selecting/highlighting text and then clicking on the popup bubble
  • Google results automatically show up in the Awesomebar/URL bar as you type (faster than going to google.com)
  • Easily switch between search engines during a search with a single click
  • Convert text URLs into clickable links
  • Automatically copy on select / paste on middle click / paste on right click (NOT enabled by default)
  • Visit bookmarks quickly with keyboard shortcuts using qLauncher
  • Adds "related articles" side-pane to Wikipedia

There is definitely a lot of browser tweaking to be loved here.  It is that type of extension that does many things well, instead of focusing on doing one thing really well.  So if you would like to kill several birds with on stone – this is the pick me up your browser has been looking for. 

Want to give it a shot?  Pickup SmarterFox on the Mozilla add-ons site and let me know what you think.  Has it helped you browse the Web any faster or smarter?

Headup Delivers You Related Content in Firefox

headup - giving you inline searches without leaving the page your browsing The idea of having a Firefox extension that gives you content related to what you are looking at is nothing new really, however I have found a Firefox add-on that will help you get it done in a new and exciting way. 

Headup underlines words on pages when you browser.  When you hover over those words, you get relevant content from popular web services. 

Headup - find more information as you browse Online

Technically speaking, they  “presents you with textual and rich media content related to the objects and terms it identifies on the pages you browse.”  Here are a few more examples from their web site:

Use Headup’s ability to recognize objects and relationships to discover all kinds of information quickly and effortlessly. Here are some examples:

  • Discover which of your friends like a particular band and gain access to the band’s videos and lyrics.
  • Find blog posts and stock news about a company and discover which of your contacts work there.
  • Get alerted about your friends’ birthdays and see which books they’re likely to enjoy as a gift.

Overall, I have to say it is an interesting idea – and a cool tool.  Sometimes these semantic plugins kind of confuse the general public, so I would really recommend playing with Headup to see if it is right for you.  You can pickup the Headup add-on on Headup.com or the Mozilla Add-ons web site.

Simple Password Generation for Firefox

For you system administrators, network engineers, and heck – really anybody who needs to come up with a fool proof password, I have an add-on for Firefox that will fill your needs.  The simply named pwgen – Password Generator for Firefox is a simple, yet efficient way to generate a random password on the fly.

password generator for Firefox

Once you install it, a small “P” icon will show up in your browser’s status bar.  All you have to do is click on it, and a password will be generated using the settings you have put in.  By default, the password will be shown to you and copied to your clipboard.  To change the options, all you need to do is right-click on the icon and select options.  From there you have a number of specific settings you can change, such as what the first and last characters start with, the password length, if you want to display the password or not or if you wish to copy the password to the clipboard or not.

Why use a complicated password?  Well, if a password is too short or simple, it is vulnerable to attack.  The simpler the password is, the easier time somebody will have to figure it out.  On the flip side, the more complicated the password, the harder it will be to figure out.

All in all, the pwgen – Password Generator extension for Firefox is a perfect one for those of you who may have a hard time coming up with a random mix of letters and numbers to use for your next secure password.

Firefox Add-on Collector

Firefox's Add-on Collector It would not make any sense to have an add-on collection without having a collector to collect them with.  Alongside the new collections feature on the Firefox Add-ons site – there is an extension to go with it.  The Mozilla Firefox Add-on Collector will help you discover and organize your favorites into easy to manage collections.

How can you access them?  Well, collections that you have marked as favorites in the Collection Dire4ctory will show up in a special section of the Add-ons Manager.  That way, you can stay up to date with each collection.  Also with it installed, each add-on you install can be easily shared with a friend or published to one of your own collections.  So this makes testing and using add-ons for Firefox a much more social experience than it was before.

Go here to download the add-on and get started with your own collection.

If you have posted your own collection for the public to see using the Firefox Add-on Collector, post it in the comments.  Would really love to see what you have all come up with.

Collections of Add-ons

Firefox Collections Along with the new Firefox Add-ons web site, the people at Mozilla also treated us to a new feature called collections.  What are they?  Well, they are a group of related add-ons that are assembled for easy sharing. 

Here are some of my favorites I have found thus far:

  • Web Developer’s Toolbox
    12 add-ons to help you speed up the development process when it comes to web development and managing the ins and outs of your own web site.
  • Downloadsquad Pack
    Soup up your browser with selections from the Downloadsquad.com staff and some of our readers’ favorite add-ons. They’ll help make your browsing safer, more hassle free, and more productive!
  • Traveler’s Pack
    When the travel bug bites, these add-ons make it easy to plan, book and document your trip — without getting lost along the way.

That is just a small sample of what is out there, and who know – I might be working on a Firefox Facts Pack in the near future.  Creating your own pack is easy to do.  All you have to do is login to the addons.mozilla.org web site, and then visit the create a collection page.  From there, you give it a name, description, decide if you want your pack to be public or private, then start naming off your add-ons that will be included. 

What have been your favorite add-on collections, so far?

Cluster Tabs in Firefox

Since the release of collections of add-ons for Firefox, it seems like everywhere I turn I see somebody else offering ways to bring things together (although I am sure Opera would say they did it first).  With that in mind though, I would like to introduce you to Cluster Tabs.  This add-on for Firefox will let you easily cluster web pages together for easier sharing and saving.

Cluster Tabs Example in Firefox

Creating your own tab cluster is easy to do.  Once you have installed the extension for Firefox, all you need to do is:

  • Use the Cluster Tab button to create one from the current active tab
  • Click the "+" icon on any tab and select ‘create cluster from tab’
  • Alternatively simply drag one tab into another

Be sure to check out the ClusterURL.com about page to find out the other two ways you can cluster your tabs together.  Want to see what a cluster looks like?

Overall, very excited to see what all they do with this in the future.  It is a very interesting idea – and the human aspect of it is something I really think has a good chance of taking off. You can pickup the Cluster Tabs add-on yourself from the Mozilla Add-ons site or get more information about the project from ClusterURL.com.

Firefox Add-ons Site Gets a Makeover

New Firefox Add-on Love!

Today is the day that Firefox’s new add-on site has gone live.  You can check it all out at addons.mozilla.org.  The new look and feel does look nice, and there is a lot to love here.  For example, on the main page you have  rotating list of suggestions based on categories like web development, family, social, travel and more.  Each category on the left-side menu also has a number count – so you can see exactly how many extensions there are.  My favorite new feature might be the listing of recommended, popular, just added and updated extensions all right on the front page.  No more hunting around link to link to find them all. 

So, what is your general feeling for the new Firefox add-ons site?  Love it or hate it?  I’ll be sure to be diving into more features from this new site later on – but till then I want to hear what you think about it.

Get a Chrome-ish Tab Page with JumpStart

JumpStart for Firefox

You can always tell when a new way of navigating through pages becomes popular, because you end up with three or four extensions for Firefox that do the same thing.  With that said, I have one more add-on for Firefox that tries to copy what Google Chrome does with its page you get on a new tab or browser window.  New Tab JumpStart does a great job at bringing Chrome’s thumbnailed pages you have seen before.  One nice feature that I haven’t seen others follow up on is the ability to permanently “pin”  page so it never goes away.  You can pickup New Tab JumpStart from the Mozilla Add-ons web site.

6 Add-ons to Grab Usage Stats from Firefox

How do you use Firefox? Want to know exactly how you are making use of the Firefox web browser?  Here are six of the best add-ons for Firefox that will give you every statistic you would ever want from your own day to day usage.  From cache, to download usage, and even easy cache status – we have something here for everybody to make use of.

Net Usage Item – Displays a progress bar of your Internet usage (grabbed from your ISP) on your Firefox Toolbar.

Usage Counter – Tells you how much time you have spent using Firefox and browsing sites.

StatusbarEx – Show some useful information on status bar of Firefox, such as the memory usage of system & Firefox itself, network speed, system power status, etc.

Minimeter – Monitor your provider’s upload/download usage meter.

DataFox – Check your BSNL DataOne and MTNL Triband bandwidth utilization in Firefox at the click of a button. A color coded progress bar and bandwidth usage tracking helps you stay within your monthly cap and efficiently utilize your bandwidth.

Cache Status – Easy cache status & management from the status bar.

Know of another favorite usage add-on that didn’t make it to the list?  Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments!

Firefox Add-on for Amazon Fans

Firefox Add-on for Amazon.com Users

I won’t lie to you, I do a lot, if not all, of my shopping online via Amazon.com.  They provide a great service, what can I say?  For fans of the Amazon service I have an add-on for Firefox that will knock your online shopping socks off.  Amazon Hot! Stuff is the perfect fan for any Amazon shopping addict.

Once installed, you easily have access to your lists, your cart, and gift ideas all from one browser button.  You can also quickly browser through hot new releases, most gifted, most wished for and the movers and shakers on the Amazon web site.  Without fuss or confusion it does what it is suppose to do – give you easier browsing access to some of the most popular parts of the Amazon web site. 

If you consider yourself a die-hard Amazon fan, the Amazon Hot! Stuff extension for Firefox can not be missed.  Consider this your blue light special to get the month of June started off right.