Google removed apps from its Chrome Web Store in 2017, but users still can take advantage of many extensions available through the store. Unlike standalone apps, extensions add functionality to a web browser or serve as convenient links to websites and other online tools.
While Google shifted its focus on apps to its Play Store, which is available for Android phones and newer models of Chromebooks, there still are useful ways to keep up with your finances using Chrome extensions.
Top Chrome Extensions
These extensions will add functionality to your Chrome browser, making it easier to keep track of what is important to you, or they will add functionality to websites you might use, such as Google Finance.
- Finance Toolbar—Real-Time Stock Tracker: This extension places a stock tracker right in the toolbar of your browser. You can customize it to list whatever you choose, allowing you to monitor markets and personal stocks in real time. You can click on a price in the stock tracker to open a new page with further details about the relevant market or stock.
- Finance Plus: You can add functionality to Google Finance with this extension. Google Finance is a web page you can personalize to track markets and stock prices relevant to you and to include financial news about the businesses or issues that most interest you. Finance Plus adds charting tools to help you with research into trends and other data.
- Chrome Currency Converter: This extension converts prices listed on websites to whatever currency you choose. For example, if you are visiting Amazon.com and want to see prices in euros instead of dollars, this extension will do that. It supports more than 160 different currencies. The Web Store also offers multiple currency converters that simply are calculators that can convert from one currency to another. Search the term "currency converter" to find several options.
- Online Banking: Some major banks, such as PNC, offer extensions that provide quick access to logging in and tracking accounts through your browser.
Check with your bank to see if it offers an official Chrome extension and what features are available.
Google Play Store
Smartphones have become more powerful and more popular for everyday tasks such as tracking personal finances, and Google has responded by shifting the availability of apps to its Play Store, which also supports newer Chromebooks. Google keeps a running list of which Chromebooks are compatible with the Play Store. If your Chromebook was built in 2017 or later, it most likely is compatible. Older models have slowly been gaining access to the Play Store, so continue checking the list if you have a model that can't yet download Play Store apps.
Some of the most useful and popular apps for managing your money include these:
- Intuit's Mint: This app consolidates all of your personal finances into one site. Banking information, mortgages, loans, retirement accounts, and more all can be tracked on this app, giving you an overview of your total net worth. The app also provides an updated credit score every month for no charge, though it does not include a full credit report.
- NerdWallet: Similar to Mint, this app allows you to consolidate all of your financial information in one place. The big difference between the two apps is NerdWallet's focus on credit scores. It features a credit simulator that can show you how different actions are likely to affect your credit score. For example, if you're thinking about buying a car, the simulator can show you how credit checks and a new loan will impact your score before you actually take any of those actions.
- Credit Karma: This app helps you track your credit scores for free. While full credit reports are not included, having access to scores in one place is helpful. Credit Karma also alerts you to any unusual financial activity tied to your identity and offers services such as tax filing.
- PayPal: All of the features available through PayPal's website are available on its app. You can send money to anyone, whether they have a PayPal account or not. Additionally, you can transfer money to or from your bank account. A separate PayPal Business app allows you to track your business activity, make or receive payments, and even send invoices, all through the app on your Android phone or Chromebook.
- Google Pay: Connect your credit card or bank account to your Google Pay account, and you can pay for items right from your phone. Google Pay also allows you to upload loyalty card information for many retailers, so you can receive the perks of your loyalty card automatically by paying with Google Pay.
- Online Banking: Nearly all banks and credit unions offer online banking, and part of that is the availability of mobile apps that can be used on either Android phones or Chromebooks. Each bank is different, but most offer the ability to track finances, pay bills, and transfer money through the app. Check with your bank or credit union or search the Play Store to find your institution's app.
- Yahoo Finance: You might have an Android phone and a Chromebook, and you might use the Chrome web browser on your desktop computer at work or at home, but maybe Google Finance isn't your cup of tea. That's OK. Yahoo Finance has an app available in the Play Store and can track markets and stock prices and relevant headlines just like Google Finance. Other comparable apps can be found from Bloomberg and other popular sites.