Chrome Hiding Extension Icons By Default

Back in June 2019, Google Chrome started hiding extension icons by default when users first install a new extension. This can be very frustrating as a developer that users may not know how to “Pin” the extension to their toolbar. In my case, my Weather Extension, Link Shortener Extension, and Bitcoin Extension are all toolbar extensions that need to be pinned for easy access.

Instead of allowing extension icons to appear one after another to the right of the search box, the Chrome Extensions Platform team is trying out a design change that hides the graphical buttons in a menu accessed by a puzzle piece icon. Personally, I believe this is causing a lot of confusion and needs to be changed. If the extension has a click action, it needs to be pinned by default. This would allow the user to immediately see the extension and try it. Then they can always unpin it later. To me it’s strange to install something then it disappear into the menu. Read More

Link Unshortener

Link Unshortener is a tool to get information about a link before visiting it. As a safety practice, you should always check links that you are not familiar with before you visit them. Link Unshortener shows you the final destination and any security concerns when you expand a shortened link. You never know where a short URL is going to take you. Browsing with Link Unshorten will check the site for malicious content and alert you before you visit a suspicious site. Read More

Introducing T.ly

Over the past several months, I have been working on a Link Shortener Extension for Chome and Firefox which has grown to over 50,000 users! The feedback has been great and many users love how simple it is to shorten long links. The extension allows users to select their default shortener service such as T.ly, TinyUrl, Bit.ly, is.gd, To.ly, Cutt.ly, Brevis, Rebrandly, and Lnnkin. In one click, they can shorten a URL which then automatically copies to their clipboard in less than a second.

Since the creation of the extension, the goal has been to give users an alternative to goo.gl which shut down in March 2019. This has worked well but shortener services come and go. So to make the extension more stable, I needed to create my own URL shortener. Read More