Lifehacker has been publishing a Better Gmail Extension which does some nifty things like adding attachment icons and hiding various things. Just saw today that there is now a similar extension for Google Reader. Not as many features as the Gmail extension, but there are a couple I find pretty useful. “Auto Add to Reader” bypasses the iGoogle or Reader option screen when subscribing to feeds and the “Preview Item” opens up the actual webpage in an iframe inside Google Reader either automatically or by clicking a button. That’s pretty nifty since it makes it easier to open a blog post and post a comment right there without having to juggle tabs or windows. The last thing I really liked is displaying favicons inside the list of subscriptions much like regular bookmarks.
Just realized you don’t have to subscribe to a feed in Google Reader to share something you find on the Internet. Under “Your Stuff” they added “Notes” a while back. On that page there’s a bookmark you can drag to the bookmark toolbar, click it, add a note and share the note in your Shared items. Highlight text on the page and it will prepopulate the description field with it. If you can’t see my shared items, send me a chat invitation in Gmail; pretty sure that’s the only way to become “friends” in Google Reader. Added a test note of a chart from Ross Perot’s perotcharts.com.
I’ve been a faithful user of Gmail for a little over 2 years now and one of the things I never really used was the built-in chat since most people use AIM to chat. The Gmail team released a new feature today that allows you to login to your AIM account and have your buddies show up in the “chat” list with your other Gmail contacts. I haven’t been much of a chatter for a while and I even went through today and purged my buddy list of over 50 screen names.
The integration with Gmail is a little primitive (as is Gmail’s chat), but it works great for the amount of chatting I do. The one feature that I would love to see is the ability to map AIM screen names to Gmail contacts so they don’t show up twice in the chat list. That would be uber-slick. If you use Gmail try it out, hit the options button on the bottom left of the chat list.