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.
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 YouTube, Maps, Drive 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.
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.
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.