Add shortcuts to Google services with Black Menu for Chrome

Want to add shortcuts and previews for many Google services to your Chrome toolbar without it becoming too crowded? Check out this Chrome extension that keeps everything in a neat menu.

Nicole Cozma
Nicole Cozma has an affinity for Android apps and devices, but loves technology in general. Based out of the Tampa Bay Area, she enjoys being a spectator to both sunsets and lightning storms.
Nicole Cozma
2 min read

The "More" option in Black Menu for Chrome. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Depending on the version of Chrome you're using, you may have noticed some changes to the black navigation bar along the top of the Google homepage. For some, the bar is still there, and for others, it has completely disappeared. One developer decided to make his own navigation menu, and luckily you can use it too.

Black Menu, by Carlos Jeurissen, is a Chrome extension that adds quick links to all of the popular Google services, like Gmail, Maps, Drive, YouTube, among others. Instead of waiting for Google to decide if the navigation bar will stay or go, you can take matters into your own hands by installing this extension.

Getting the extension is easy. First, head the entry page for Black Menu on the Chrome Web Store. Click the Add to Chrome button, and the extension will be installed automatically. The extension will appear as a new icon on your Chrome toolbar.

Gmail options in Black Menu for Chrome. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Clicking the Black Menu icon will open the shortcut links to Google services. Hovering over the option, will show a preview of your account related to the respective service. For instance, if you hover over Gmail, you'll see a preview of your Inbox. The extension allows you to interact with messages like you would with Gmail on the Web -- all of the most-used features are present.

When hovering over the More option, you'll see other Google service links to the left, and the Settings icon (as seen in the top image). The developer has included some experimental features in the extension, including options for opening Black Menu in its own panel, or choosing how many files to display in the Google Drive preview.

Have a suggestion for the extension? The developer is very active on his Black Menu Google+ community page and responds to user feedback.

(Via MakeUseOf)