If you have not heard of Tampermonkey, or even Greasemonkey, you are missing out on taking control over the Internet. Greasemonkey started as a Mozilla Firefox extension that allowed users to load scripts to change how web sites act.
These changes are filtered through the browser and not the pages or coding behind them; this gives a user almost infinite control over how pages work in their own browser.
Tampermonkey is the Chrome counterpart to Greasemonkey and when coupled with Google+ Enhancer, they give you even more notification options for a variety of Google-based services.
How to use Tampermonkey
Before you get started with Google+ Enhancer, you must first install and get used to Tampermonkey.
Download and install Tampermonkey from the Chrome Web Store.
Click “Add to Chrome” to start the process.
Chrome will ask you to confirm the installation. Click “Install.”
A few moments later, Tampermonkey will be installed. However, until you begin installing scripts, it will do nothing.
If you right click the icon, you can see the options for Tampermonkey.
This includes adding scripts, finding new ones, checking for updates and accessing the options for the Extension.
Tampermonkey will open in a new tab in Chrome. Click on “Settings.”
This will allow you to tweak with how Tampermonkey works. Until you get more familiar with exactly how Tampermonkey works within Chrome and the web sites you visit, you want to leave the majority of settings alone.
Keep in mind that Google+ Enhancer is not the only script that will work with Tampermonkey. You can opt to install others and once you see just what Tampermonkey can do, you will understand just how powerful of a tool it is not just for Google+ but for all web sites you visit on a regular basis.
Pros of Tampermonkey:
- Allows you to customize websites the way you want
- Plenty of scripts for users to choose from
- Easy to install scripts in seconds
Cons of Tampermonkey:
- Scripts may not be secure, check for user reviews before using them
- May not have a script for what you want to do at a particular web site
- Settings may be too complicated for some users
Now, onto using Google+ Enhancer.
How to use Google+ Enhancer
Visit Google+ Enhancer’s page at Userscripts.org.
You can read a little bit more about the script, its goals and its maker. When you are ready to install it, click the green “Install” button to the right.
This will automatically begin the installation process into Tampermonkey.
Chrome will issue a pop-up alerting you to the installation of the script through Tampermonkey. Before you continue, remember that user scripts are not secure and they may be malicious. Use them at your own risk as Google and the Chrome Web Store only put faith in Tampermonkey, not what people do with it.
Click “Ok” to continue.
Another pop-up will replace the first one and let you know what pages the script will interact with and change. If you agree to these changes, click “Ok.”
It will take Tampermonkey a few seconds to install and put to use the script. Just wait it out.
When finished, you will begin to use the script seamlessly when you visit Google+.
However, if you ever decide you want to uninstall it, you want to visit the Tampermonkey settings. You simply click the trash can icon to delete it.
When you visit Google+, you will be required to login through Tampermonkey.
Enter your user name and password, then click “Log In.”
Now, when you look at the Google toolbar, you will see various notification areas that were not there before.
This includes one for Gmail, Calendar and Reader at the moment.
This allows you to see what is going with your other Google services when logged into Google+, similar to how you see notices for the social network. You can click on any of the notifications at any time to visit that part of Google and go through what is new there.
Google+ Enhancer is still in its early stages and offers a way to get notified when new events occur in other Google services when using its social network.
Pros of Google+ Enhancer:
- Gives you notifications for other Google services
- Gives you direct access to your other Google services when something new happens
Cons of Google+ Enhancer:
- Not a lot of functionality
- Can only see notifications when looking at the Google toolbar
Does Google+ Enhancer make a difference?
At the moment, Google+ Enhancer only offers a bit of functionality while logged into Google+. If you are managing multiple services through a single Google account, having notifications for each service in the single toolbar is more tidy than having multiple extensions doing the same thing.
For now, Google+ Enhancer gives you that basic functionality and in the future may provide more for those looking for it. Google+ Enhancer’s goals are lofty and no doubt can be accomplished through the amazing nature of Tampermonkey.
Install Tampermonkey for Chrome, then get Google+ Enhancer.