Unless you’ve spent the last week hiking in the Yukon, and your smart phone was eaten by a polar bear, you’ve probably heard Google+ is here. Aside from joining and spending considerable time organizing my circles, I’ve noticed some shortcomings with the site. Luckily, others have noticed these too, and created Chrome extensions to fix them. Here is a list of extensions I’ve found most useful in fixing these shortfalls.
Shortfall: No easy way to share a Google+ post on Facebook or Twitter.
Solution: Extended Share for Google Plus
One of my top picks, the Extended Share for Google Plus Chrome extension inserts a block of code to your Google+ feed allowing you to quickly share a G+ post on Facebook or Twitter.
Shortfall: I have to click on a post to see the picture in full-size.
Solution: +Photo Zoom
Very simple, and a great time-saver. If you’ve used the FB Photo Zoom extension for Facebook, you’ll know exactly what +Photo Zoom does. With this extension, any time you mouse over a picture in Google+, a zoomed image of that picture will pop up. It saves you from clicking through the post to see the full-size picture.
Shortfall: I have to be on the Google+ page in my browser to see my notification count.
Solution: Notification Count for Google Plus™
This one is similar to the Google Voice extension. It displays how many unread notifications you have in a bookmark or URL tab. When clicked, it takes you to your Google+ notifications page.
Feature Request: This extension is useful, but I wish it would also give you a dropdown box with your notifications, just like the button on your Google+ page. So, Developer, if you’re listening, maybe that could come in a future update?
Shortfall: Too many replies on a post consumes my whole feed view.
Solution: +Comment Toggle
Tired of having one popular post take up your entire screen with everyone putting in their two cents? The +Comment Toggle extension will hide those comments for you. To show the comments on a particular post, simply click on the toggle button (down arrow). This is very simple and very useful.
Shortfall: I’m too lazy to use the ‘+’ button.
Solution: Replies and more for Google+
Gives you a ‘Reply to Author’ link on every post and comment. Clicking it will simply start your response with a ‘+’ sign and the Author’s name, making it act like the ‘@’ symbol with Twitter. It’s especially useful when you want to reply to just one person’s comment in a long stream of comments.
Shortfall: Very few pages have a +1 button for me to add it to my list in Google+.
Solution: +1 Button
As you may know, +1 is the Google version of Facebook’s ‘Like’ feature. The problem is most pages have not yet added a +1 button for you to click. This extension puts a +1 button at the end of the URL address bar allowing you to simply click to +1 the current page. The button is a toggle button and will show as dark blue if you visit a page that you’ve already +1’d, or clear if you have not +1’d that page.
Shortfall: I want to add someone to my circles, but they speak a different language.
Solution: Helper for Google+
Google Translate is awesome. Google+ is awesome. Why not put them together? Well, that’s just what this extension does. It actually adds a ‘Translate’ button to the bottom of each post which, when pressed, will copy that post (or comment) over to Google Translate where you can choose the language to translate it to. It also adds a ‘Tweet’ button, but if that’s all you’re looking for, it’s covered in the ‘Extended Share for Google Plus’ extension at the top of this post.
I wish I could tell you of many more extensions for Google+, but the options are sparse right now. So to conclude I would like to start a list of additional Google+ shortfalls that could conceivably be fixed with an extension. Who knows, maybe some merciful developer will stumble across this post and create them for us.
Shortfall: I can’t share or comment on a URL from my +1 list in Google+.
Suggested Solution: Make it easy to +1 a page and then share a comment on it in your feed. Right now, it just goes in to your +1 list and sits there. Boo, -1. What I’d like is to be able to +1 a couple of articles while doing my blog reading, then go to my list afterward on Google+ and click a button to share it in my feed with a comment. Hopefully we’ll see this as an added feature in G+, or at least as an extension in the near future.
What shortfalls do you see with +1 or Google+?