10 ways to enhance Google+
You’ve got Google+, you’re enjoying it, but you want it to be better. We hear you, and so does the developer community that have already started creating Google Chrome extensions and other ways to enhance what Google+ offers.
We don’t suspect this is the last of what will be made available, and we also don’t expect you’ll want to install all of them, but still, while some are fun add-ons, others are must have installs. Here are our favourite 10.
Surplus is a Chrome extension that once installed is a small icon that will sit next to your address bar and tell you how many notifications you have waiting.
But it’s not just an “unread count”, pressing on the icon lets you see your latest notifications and lets you share with your Google+ circles straight from the drop down box. You can manage which circles you share to, add images, video, and links, and basically do everything that you would do from the share box within Google+. Very clever.
The only thing it’s missing is a Google+ this page button, that would let you share the page you were on without having to cut and paste the link, and the ability to Twitter or Facebook at the same time. We’ve put in those requests to the developers already.
UPDATE: Looks like they heard us and have added automatic page share to the extension.
+Photo Zoom is a simple extension providing fast and simple zooming for photos within your Google+ Stream and ideal if you’re struggling without your glasses.
Once installed all you have to do is hover over an image in your stream, and hey presto it’s considerably larger allowing you to see it without having to click on it. It’s really clever and a must have if the people you follow are always posting images. Especially small images.
Extended Share for Google Plus
One of the biggest wants from those that are already using Google Plus is that they’ve already got Twitter and Facebook accounts, and therefore the chore of now keeping all three running at the same time is a burden. It’s a tough life we know, but Extended Share for Google Plus goes someway to trying to solve that problem.
We’ve personally had mixed results with this Chrome extension, but the idea is that it will let you share your Google+ updates with Twitter and Facebook at the press of a button.
Until Google opens up Google+ to developers properly, this is the best you are going to get for the time being.
This is reverse Google+ enhancing. Install this extension and when you go to Twitter.com you’ll be able to +1 tweets you see thanks to a new icon that appears on the page next to tweets.
It’s quick, simple, and easy to use, as long as you use Twitter.com. This doesn't obviously help you if you use a dedicated Twitter client like Twitter for Mac or Twitter for PC.
Notification Count for Google Plus
If you aren’t fussed about sharing content from an extension like Surplus, then Notification Count for Google Plus is more for you. It’s a simple icon that lets you know how many notifications you’ve got in Google+ waiting for you.
Nothing more, nothing less, but a bit redundant when compared to Surplus.
If you’re using Google+, chances are you’re also using Google +1 and this is an extension that allows you to quickly +1 any page on the web.
Once installed a new +1 icon will appear at the end of your address bar allowing you to plus one the page in question without having to try and find a plus one button on the page itself.
Those plus ones will appear in your Google+ account for all to see.
Google Plus bar colour changer extension
Not an official Chrome extension, but nonetheless handy if it’s your thing. What does the Google Plus bar colour changer extension do exactly? Well it lets you change the colour of the black bar in Google+ to a different colour like blue, green, or pink.
Yep, completely pointless you might say, but still if you find yourself having a massive aversion to the black bar this will be the one for you.
Google + Facebook
If you’re feeling remorse for leaving Facebook and going Google+ there is a way to deal with your bad feelings and that’s to make Google+ look like Facebook.
Some, of course, will say that it already does, but that’s nothing compared to what they will say to this custom makeover that you can install with a bit of Chrome jiggery-pokery.
The finished result is a Google+ interface that looks like it’s actually Facebook. We wonder if Google+ user Mark Zuckerberg is running it so people in the office can’t tell he’s using the new competing service?
SyncPad For Google+
If you’re a fan of SyncPad, an app described by the company as a "Facetime for drawings” then you’ll be pleased to know that you can get it as an extension for both Chrome and Safari, allowing you to add it to Hangouts which will enable you to share your drawing skills with others in your circles.
If the thought of having to scroll down the page to see what your friends are saying is too much, Liquid G+ will take that single column style and give you three columns instead.
Why? We aren’t sure. But like the Google to Facebook hack this changes the appearance of your Google+ page as long as you are happy to do some tweaking with code. Not one for the quick press of a button and we can’t personally see why you would want it, but someone must have because someone built it in the first place.
Let us know if you’ve found a really good way to enhance Google+ and we’ll share it with the others above.