Google+ is reportedly growing quickly, so it's no surprise that users have already gone over Google's head and started tweaking the social network on their own. You can find a number of Google Chrome extensions and other enhancements to improve the Google+ experience. Here are eight of the best.
If you're not big on conversation, install the +Comment Toggle Chrome extension to hide replies throughout your Google+ Stream. You'll then be able to expand conversations by clicking the comment bar below each status update, instead of having to see everything by default.
Google Plus Web App
The unofficial Google Plus Web app is nothing more than an icon for the Chrome home screen, and that's just fine. The app provides quick access from a new browser tab, and, like other Web apps, allows you to automatically open Google+ as a pinned tab or in a new window.
Extended Share for Google Plus
Some Google+ status updates are so good, it would be a shame not to share them with other social networks. Extended Share for Google Plus is a Chrome extension that lets you share any update in your Google+ feed with Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Extended Share for Google Plus adds a 'Share on...' link below each post, so you can keep all of your social networks updated with just one click.
If you'd like to make seamless sharing even simpler, try the Start G+ Chrome extension, which lets you automatically share your Google+ status updates with friends on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Note: To get Start G+ to work, you'll need to authorize Start G+ to access both Facebook and Twitter on your behalf. Look for the login options under the power-switch icon on the Google taskbar's right side.
Google+ notifications already appear on top of many Google services, but the Surplus Chrome extension adds the same functionality to the top of the browser. This arrangement lets you see incoming messages and post updates without ever visiting the Google+ home page. Safari users can install an extension to receive basic Google+ notifications in the browser, too.
Replies and More for Google+
The Replies and More Chrome Extension is a grab bag of extras for enhancing Google+. The features include a 'Reply to Author' option for lengthy comment threads, as well as a favicon badge that lets you know how many notifications are waiting. The extension also lets you submit comments and posts by pressing Ctrl-Enter or Shift-Enter.
Goolge+ for Opera
Yes, that's how it's spelled. Fear not, Opera users: Developer Yoit has you covered with Goolge+, an unfortunately named Opera extension that displays a simple Google+ feed from an icon at the top of the browser. It's pretty handy for when you need a quick dose of social networking.
Alternative Android Apps
Geek.com points to an XDA-Developers forum thread in which a couple of users have created custom themes for the Google+ Android app. The best is Google Krad+, which inverts the original app's colors to create a black background and an overall darker look. Just make sure to delete the original Google+ app before installing this one.