Black Menu for Google is a straightforward Chrome extension which makes it easier to access commonly-used Google services.

The program adds an icon to the right of the search bar, and clicking it displays a menu of Google tools: Search, Google+, Translate, Maps, Play, YouTube, News, Gmail, Drive and Calendar.

Moving your mouse cursor over any of these displays an appropriate widget for that service (your Google Drive files and folders, a search page, the latest news headlines and so on). You can immediately use this to run searches, translate text, check Gmail or whatever else you want to do.

If you need more frequent access to a particular service, then one click opens it in a new panel, where it can run alongside the main browser window.

Black Menu's service list can easily be tweaked to suit your needs. Remove Google tools you don't use, add others, reorder and reorganise the rest: it only takes a moment.

There are individual settings for most widgets, too. What would you like as your default Google+ page? Which News edition do you need? What's your preferred map type? Explore Black Menu's Options page and you'll soon have everything set up correctly.

Verdict

Elegant and intuitive, Black Menu makes it quick and easy to access all your favourite Google services