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Though Google Chrome launched without extension support, once added it didn't take long for the app developing community to create a large repository of extensions for the browser. As Firefox proved, such extensions are extremely useful, so here's our choice of the best Chrome extensions we've found (in no particular order), plus two that really should be a feature of the browser.

1: Google Mail Checker Plus


While Google's own mail notifier does the job, for the web browsing power user Google Mail Checker Plus is what you need. Just like Outlook it sends notifications to your desktop, and clicking on the icon in your toolbar will preview newly received emails. You can also read emails in this window, delete emails and mark them as SPAM.

2: IE Tab


Every now and again you'll find a website that still displays incorrectly in anything other than Internet Explorer, and for those moments IE Tab is the solution. Simply hit the button and Internet Explorer instantly loads inside the active tab. It's also a quick and handy tool for web developers wishing to test IE compatibility without actually opening the browser. You can also stipulate certain pages to always be opened in an IE Tab.

3: After the Deadline


Not satisfied with Chrome's built-in spell-checker? If so, After the Deadline is worth looking into. In some respects this spell-checker is more advanced than those you get in dedicated word processors, as it not only checks your spelling and grammar, it can also check for a wide-range of grammar and style rules, such as Complex Phrases, Passive Voice, Redundant Phrases and plenty else besides.

4: InvisibleHand


InvisibleHand takes the legwork out of price comparison. Instead of heading to Google, or some other price comparison website, InvisibleHand pops up when you're viewing a product and tells you of cheaper retailers, or simply alternative ones. It also pulls user reviews from Amazon on the product you're viewing.

5: Google Reader Notifier


There's nothing more daunting than a massive list of unread feed items. Google Reader Notifier keeps you up-to-date with how many items you've got to read, and previews the headlines so you can go straight to the stories. It does the job well, though the ability to mark items as read without opening Google Reader would be nice.






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