Apple Adds Extensions To Safari 5: Finally Ready To Match Firefox?

One of our primary problems with Safari when we took an in-depth look at it last year was this: no wide-ranging plug-in support as there is with Firefox. For power users who love to browse the Web their own way, using third-party plug-ins to enhance their experience, Safari just never has lived up to Firefox. It's fast, passes the ACID test without issue and is available for both Mac and PC, but the inability to install extensions kept it from becoming one of the best browsers out.


This week, Apple has finally updated Safari to a point where it may actually compete with Firefox in the eyes of power users, with version 5.0.1 enabling the Safari Extensions Gallery. The idea here was to give developers the ability to create extensions for Safari in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, with these new add-ins working as toolbars, side panes, etc. A Web site has been established as a soft of "App Store" for extensions, though for now the options are limited. There's a Twitter add-in, one for MLB, one for the New York Times and one for eBay (among a few others).

Have a look and see if these new extensions will be enough to convince you to make the switch. We suspect hardcore Firefox users will stay put, but this just might be the power play that Safari needed to really launch it to the next level.

Apple Updates Safari 5
Users Can Add New Features Through Extensions

CUPERTINO, California—July 28, 2010—Apple® today released Safari® 5.0.1, turning on Safari Extensions and introducing the Safari Extensions Gallery. Apple introduced extensions support in Safari 5 in June so developers could begin creating extensions with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript web standards. With Safari Extensions Gallery, users can quickly find extensions that add powerful new features to Safari, from toolbars that display live web feeds to sophisticated programs that filter web content. Safari 5.0.1 allows users to download and install extensions either from the Safari Extensions Gallery or directly from a developer's site.

“Safari 5 has been a big hit, and user response to the innovative new Safari Reader has been fantastic,” said Brian Croll, Apple’s vice president of OS X Product Marketing. “We’re thrilled to see so many leading developers creating great extensions and think our users are going to love being able to customize Safari.”

“Millions of our customers already use Amazon Wish Lists to store items they want to buy for themselves or receive as gifts,” said Gianna Puerini, vice president of Worldwide Design and Community at Amazon.com. “With Safari 5, we were able to quickly build the Add to Amazon Wish List extension that lets customers add items from any website to their Amazon Wish List with the click of a button.”

“We’re excited to continue working closely with Apple to bring visually compelling Bing experiences to Safari,” said Jeff Henshaw, general manager of Bing User Experience. “The Bing Extension for Safari brings Bing search intelligence to everyday browsing with Safari. When a user selects text in Safari, Bing instantly recognizes what they might need and pops up helpful, informative tips, from real time maps and driving directions to real time translations to direct web search results.”

“Using web standard technologies and Safari’s extension builder, we developed an MLB.com extension to give fans another way to consume up-to-the-moment baseball content, including live look-ins to games, right from the Safari toolbar,” said Noah Garden, executive vice president, Commerce and Sponsorship at MLB.com.

“Our extension for Safari is a great way for readers to get all of the latest breaking news and all the important stories, blogs and columns they want to see,” said Denise Warren, general manager, NYTimes.com at The New York Times Company. “While you browse other sites in Safari, our extension checks for updates and slides in new headlines and thumbnails, so you won't miss a thing.”

“Creating our Twitter extension in Safari couldn't have been easier,” said Jason Goldman, vice president of Product at Twitter. “By providing features like the ability to tweet about a page and view trending topics, we've created a simple way to deliver relevant, interesting content to people regardless of where they are on the web.”

The Safari Extensions Gallery is accessible from the Safari menu or at extensions.apple.com. Users can download and install extensions from the gallery with a single click, and there’s no need to restart the browser. Extensions can be automatically updated and are easily managed within Safari. Users can enable or disable individual extensions, or turn off all extensions with one click.

Safari Extensions are built with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript web standards, and can have all the power and functionality of advanced web applications. Every Safari Extension is signed with a digital certificate from Apple to prevent tampering and to verify that updates to the extension are from the original developer. Safari Extensions are sandboxed, so they can’t access information on a user’s system or communicate with websites aside from those specified by the developer. For increased stability, Safari Extensions run solely in the browser.

Safari 5 also features Safari Reader, which presents single and multipage articles on the web in a new, scrollable view without distracting content or clutter. The Nitro JavaScript engine runs JavaScript up to 30 percent faster than Safari 4.* Built on the open source WebKit engine developed by Apple, Safari 5 includes more than a dozen powerful new HTML5 features for creating media-rich experiences, like full screen playback and closed captions for HTML5 video.

Pricing & Availability
Safari 5 is available for both Mac OS® X and Windows as a free download at www.apple.com/safari. Safari 5 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard® 10.5.8 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard® 10.6.2 or later. Safari 5 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista or Windows 7, a minimum 256MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor. Full system requirements and more information on Safari 5 can be found at www.apple.com/safari. The Safari Extensions Gallery is available at extensions.apple.com. The Safari Developer Program is free to join at developer.apple.com/programs/safari.

*Performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection and other factors. All testing conducted by Apple in May 2010 on an iMac® 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system running Mac OS X 10.6.3, with 4GB of RAM. JavaScript benchmark based on the SunSpider 0.9.1 JavaScript Performance test. 
Via:  Apple
Comments
AKwyn 4 years ago

I don't know, none of them will be as radical and game-changing as Mozilla's add-on's and each add on is going to be put through heavy vigorous testing by Apple, therefore preventing any add-on's except the ones you see on those screenshots up there.

acarzt 4 years ago

I think i'll just continue to stay away from Safari and really as many apple products as I can lol

animatortom 4 years ago

News FLASH...! Oh wait its Apple:P

acarzt 4 years ago

Yea... I still don't see anything about flash support.

Why would you purposely limit yourself so significantly?

Flash is EVERYWHERE.

Just support it... jeez.

realneil 4 years ago

@acarzt: "Just support it... jeez."

It's the principle-less of the thing,.................

animatortom 4 years ago

Its the Less-Principles of Apple:P

animatortom 4 years ago

Dont like them Apples:P

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