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Become a Google Power-User with Black Menu

If you happen to use Google’s wide range of services for pretty much everything, then installing the Black Menu extension could help save you time.

Google introduced the Google Bar almost a year ago now and it has gone through several redesigns and improvements (based on user feedback) since that time.

I used to love the drop-down menu which appeared when clicking the Google logo and I was pretty disappointed to see it go; but it appears that someone else missed it to, and wrote an extension based loosely on the design of the old Google Bar.

Happy days!

Meet Black Menu

Quickly search almost everything Google is capable of – get easy access to the most commonly used Google services, available at any time.” - Carlos Jeurissen

After installing Black Menu you will see the icon appear next to the settings menu on the tool bar.

Navigation & Features

Upon clicking the Black Menu button, you will be greeted with a slick-looking and functional menu interface which groups all of Google’s services into categories for your convenience.

As you hover your cursor over the categories on the right-hand side of the menu, the menu items and features relating to that category will fade into view. Clicking the side menu isn’t necessary which makes navigating speedy.

Searching is a breeze with Black Menu, there is a search box that is fixed on top of the menu, so it is always in reach from whichever category you happen to be browsing.

I love that the search paradigm changes to the category that is selected, for example you can search within YouTubeMapsDrive or Gmail (and  more) which makes finding what you’re looking for quick and easy.

The YouTube category has been particularly well-done as you can see recently featured videos from the get-go, as well as being able to select different video categories as well as being able to view your favourite cat videos.

I frequent Google+ regularly so having quick access to the shortcuts makes life that little bit easier. I’ve also got to give Translate a big thumbs-up also, as translating text has never been quicker.

Summary

I was surprised at how fast I became dependent on Black Menu. After using it for only a few hours I found myself using most of the features available. The interface has been well thought out and designed. I honestly can’t fault it, so I give my kudos to the developer, Carlos Jeurissen. In my opinion, this extension is a definite must-have.

Download Black Menu for Chrome

 Got any extension suggestions for us to review? Then feel free to give your recommendations down in the comments and we may review it in the coming weeks.

 

  • Stephen Perteet

    Love it

  • ken147

    Where do I line up to give Lee Jarratt a hug? THIS. IS. AWESOME.

    • Lee Jarratt

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

      By the way, I’m always open for an e-hug.. Just saying…

  • http://twitter.com/ryanmacnish Ryan Macnish

    While this is probably the nicest looking one ive seen so far, this is not even close to being the first chrome extension for this purpose.

    EXAMPLE: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/baohinapilmkigilbbbcccncoljkdpnd?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon

    • http://dzpc.com.ar Mauricio Parra Casado

      Yeah I already tried one of those, but hey that was just icons with links this is completely different. ;)

  • http://dzpc.com.ar Mauricio Parra Casado

    OMG this is awesome. By far the most handy extension on my browser. Thanks :)

  • Joakim Waern

    Wow! Great stuff. Had trouble finding Reader but it was under News.

  • http://www.corbindavenport.com/ Corbin Davenport

    You guys should do a weekly review of good Chrome Web Store apps and extensions, and get readers to vote!

  • Nicholos Tyler

    I’m so going to install this:D

  • http://twitter.com/DaveMemoli Dave Allen

    Brilliant! Now i’m wondering how I managed to survive without this for so long!

  • http://twitter.com/DaveMemoli Dave Allen

    Brilliant! Now i’m wondering how I managed to survive without this for so long!

  • Greg

    But … this means one more click before I search from the omnibar.

  • http://twitter.com/qw3rtz Adam Nagy

    This reminds me of the Metro interface in Win8

  • Ian McVitty

    Excellent app. It is like a one stop shop app….very useful