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Meet the Author - Speed dial 2

In the midst of ever increasing importance of Chrome Webstore applications and extensions, there truly are some amazing developers that deserve attention. wips.com has decided to award the best extension each month and to do an interview with its developer. First extension to win this award is speed dial 2, a tool that enables the functionality of your browser in number of ways. We use it, and you should give it a try.

What inspired you to develop Speed Dial 2?
I've always been a huge fan of Speed Dial extensions - I got used to amazing Speed Dial built inside Opera, as well as Fast Dial extension for Firefox. When I finally made a switch to Chrome couple of years ago, there were only few similar extensions out there in Chrome Web Store and I just couldn't find a single one that would fit my expectations - some of them lacking important attention to detail and usability, some not working at all. My inspiration was therefore very simple - I decided to make an extension for my personal needs. Soon after I've published Speed Dial 2 I surprisingly found other people starting to use my extension.
 
Did you meet some problems with the development?
Of course I had to solve many problems during the development. Couple of serious problems I've come across were caused by regular updates to Chromium itself - that's the case when you either have to wait for the fix to be released or you have to come up with your own, temporary solution. 
 
What is the future of your extension?
I'm always learning new things about how people use Speed Dial 2 and that's the most important fact which gives shapes to any new features to come. Understanding how people use your extension is critical. Even now I am working on a major update which will be released later this year.
 
What is your business model?
Almost all features of Speed Dial 2 are free of charge and we offer very straightforward pricing model: $2,99 for a lifetime premium account which adds support for synchronization and mobile access to Speed Dial 2 on top of existing features.
 
Any tips for a future extension creators?
The best advice I can give is very simple: just start developing. 
 
What do you think about the future of CWS?
I think apps and extensions have a great future and I'm always glad to see Google introducing new tools to integrate Webstore content to operation systems and even mobile devices (e.g. Chrome App Launcher or Mobile Chrome Appswhich allows developers to port Chrome applications to mobile phones with Apache Cordova, …).
 
Our readers are interested in how things work. For the sake of learning, please share up to 3 three things that went right and 3 things that went wrong with development and release.
I can't really remember specific examples of what went wrong or right, but I can share few thoughts about what I've learned to be good practices while developing content for CWS:
  • If your need to optimize your extension for speed, prefer vanilla javascript over jQuery (http://youmightnotneedjquery.com).
  • Give a lot of attention to user interface of your extension - always think about the ways how to improve the UI and general user experience. If don't feel like a designer, don't be afraid to ask one for a little help. 
  • When publishing new release, try to publish only for small percentage of your users to make sure new features are working as expected
 
Please describe in one sentence each 3 or more recent extensions that you think are doing something neat  (You can mention one of your own apps if you want, but please mention it's yours :P)
AdBlock - because the web is a much nicer place without ads 
Project Naptha - allows to highlight, copy, and even translate text from images (http://projectnaptha.com)
1Password - proved to be my favorite password manager
Pocket - saving articles to read them later
 
 
Are you also a developer? We would like to know your opinion, contact us on tomas.turek@wips.com.

5 years ago