One of the cool things about joining a social network run by the creative force behind a bunch of other products you already use is integration. And having a Google+ notification panel visible whenever a Google web app is loaded is one of the key design elements that keep people returning to the Google+ Stream page. But wouldn’t it be better to have that notification drop-down available to you no matter what website you visit, be it a Google property or otherwise?
Enter the Google+ Ultimate Chrome extension. This free addon places a G+ notification icon in your Chrome toolbar and offers the same functionality as the notification area Google offers, except for the “share…” text field.
Notifications aren’t the only aspect of Google+ that the Ultimate extension addresses. Extension options include visual adjustments to the Google+ background, size of scroll bars, image size in the stream, converting of the left rail into a floating panel, pinning of the chat box in the top navigation area, and more. Perhaps the most dramatic alteration is the inclusion of an optional side-by-side view:
Google+ is becoming highly customizable, thanks to extensions like this one and user styles for addons like GreaseMonkey and Stylish. Sometimes, multiple enhancement suites can play together nicely, resulting in a custom tailored social experience that can fulfill many top requests. And hey, if you can’t find the combination of tweaks you’re looking for, maybe it’s time to take a shot at creating your own.