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Awesome New Tab Page
Good home screens get even better when they can be customized by the user to provide information at a glance and easy access to apps. This extension does all of that and more, with its own collection of widgets that can be installed on the home page.
The Awesome New Tab Page becomes the default screen displayed when the user opens a new tab in the Chrome browser. It replaces the new page that Chrome throws up by default.
The page is built by dragging apps and widgets to the desired location on the page. Once the page layout is just right it can be backed up to the cloud to restore on any Chrome installation.
Widgets designed to work with Awesome New Tab Page are downloaded individually from the Chrome Web Store. They can then be placed on the home page with drag and drop. Widgets installed on the page shown above are the clock, weather, and the long calendar displayed to the right of the Facebook icon.
Checker Plus for Gmail
This extension is a full-blown app for those using Gmail that is as good as they get. It sits in the upper-right corner of the browser window and signals when new email comes in.
That's useful but the least of the functionality found in Check Plus for Gmail. The icon in the browser bar shows how many new emails came in via a counter badge.
Tapping that icon is when the fun begins. A popup appears showing a rich list of each unread email. This includes the sender and a short summary of the email. Tap an email in the list and a full preview opens up that allows interaction with the email, including replying.
Drop-down lists in the extension provide full email functionality. All of this takes place in the extension, the Gmail window is never opened. It makes it possible to quickly work with new email without moving away from the current tab.
There is a nice accessibility feature, voice notifications, that has the extension notify you by voice when new email comes in. It will also read the email aloud. This can be toggled on and off in the settings.
This is the most useful Chrome extension I use.
Checker Plus for Google Calendar
From the same developer as the Checker Plus for Gmail extension in the previous slide, this app brings much of the same functionality to those using Google Calendar.
The icon in the upper-right corner of the browser shows the time for the next appointment. Tapping it opens a calendar window that can be set to day, week, month, and agenda views.
New appointments can be entered in the calendar window in natural language. An example of this is "7pm Dinner at Bob's".
All calendar functions are performed in the extension without opening the Google Calendar web page. Like native Google Calendar, this extension handles multiple calendars.