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[Firefox] Tab Badge puts new message notifications for e-mail accounts and social networks in your tab

Posted By Joshua On October 2, 2012 @ 3:00 PM In Browsers | No Comments

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In the age of e-mail and social networks, we are often bombarded with new messages, may those be e-mails, Wall posts, or tweets. In fact, we get so many messages it can often be hard to keep track of the new ones. That is where Tab Badge comes in.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Tab Badge puts a small number in the tab of your open page that tells you how many new messages, tweets, posts, etc. you have received. For example, if on Twitter the number will alert you to new tweets you have; or if on Gmail, the number will alert you to the number of new e-mails you have.

Pros

  • Allows users to make the addon work with only specific websites or not work with specific websites
  • Number is outlined in color, so it is easy to see
  • Updates in real-time, as you receive new notifications — even if you aren’t focused on the tab
  • Works with Firefox’s “Tab Mode” and “Pin Mode”

Cons

  • Developer is not very clear on which sites are supported; as per my tests it only works with major ones
  • Notifications only go to 999
  • Number is small in size, making it hard to view for some people
  • No sound notification for new alerts

Discussion

When I first stumbled upon this addon, I thought that it would just be a pointless addon and it wouldn’t do much. However this addon is amazing. It lets you quickly see if any new updates have come in to your social network or e-mail, without having to click on that browser window. To top it off, the notification is a red color which contrasts it against the normal Firefox theme, making it easier to see. If you don’t like this red color, you have the ability to change the color via the addon’s settings.

Among many of the benefits of this addon is its real time updating. For example as soon as you get a tweet or a new Facebook message, the number will automatically change in the tab, and the addon works in both “Pinned” and “Tab” modes. Another benefit is how easy it is to use — simply install it and go, it works out of the box.

While there are many good things with this addon, there are a few not so great ones, too.

One of the biggest complaints that I have with this addon is the lack of sites it supports. First of all, the developer is not very clear as to which sites are supported. However, during my testing I was able to get Facebook, Twitter, Outlook.com, and Gmail working with Tab Badge. In addition to that, Tab Badge worked with Google Reader for me. Overall, I’d say the website support for Tab Badge is on the low sound, although technically speaking it should work any site that pushes new data to you but, as I said, the developer isn’t very clear about it.

I found one key feature to be missing: some sort of sound notification. When you get an update on a mobile phone there is a sound; I’d like something similar to happen with Tab Badge. If the developer doesn’t want to add this as a default feature, at least give us an option to enable it.

Conclusion and download link

Overall this is a great addon and one that I will be keeping and using regularly. If you decide to grab this, keep in mind once you install this addon you won’t remember that you have it until it shows a notification. There is really no reason why you should not download this, especially if you do social networking, web emails, or Google Reader.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.8

Requires: Firefox 9.0+ Windows, Linux | Firefox 4.0+ OS X

Tab Badge on Firefox addon repository [2]


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[1] Image: http://dottech.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2012-10-02_183822.png

[2] Tab Badge on Firefox addon repository: https://addons.mozilla.org/addon/242688

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