No one can accuse Apple of sitting on yesterday’s technology. Out with the old. In with the new. New this week is Safari 5, Apple’s browser of choice for Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
The latest Safari is faster, more secure, more customizable, and has more features, though you have to look to find them all. The biggest news in Safari 5. Extensions—those nifty, handy, utilities that add functionality to a browser.
Late To The Extensions Party
For whatever reason, and despite a well-earned reputation for innovation, Apple doesn’t hurry to get to a party already in progress. Extensions have been available on other browsers for many years.
Mozilla’s Firefox has thousands of extensions. Even browser newbie Chrome, from Google, has extensions.
Safari 5 comes with Apple’s tools for developers to create bona fide, official, blessed extensions.
I Want Extensions Now
Mac users are a curious brand of computer owners, so if you’re ready, willing, and able to jump into the fire, extensions are already showing up—ready to use today, provided you know the steps to install (assuming you’ve found a few extensions that look worthy).
Mashable has a step-by-step tutorial on installing extensions on your Mac. Before you install an extension it helps to find a few that are useful and fill a need. The Safari Extensions site on Tumblr has a listing of available Safari extensions.
MacUser covers Safari 5’s extensions in more detail, including how extensions differ from plug-ins (Adobe’s Flash is a plug-in). GigaOm’s Apple Blog has 25 Extensions You Can Install Now, ahead of the launch of Apple’s official Gallery.
It’s safe to say that within a few months there will be hundreds of extensions available for Mac users on Safari 5, with a few thousand more to come.
In summary, if you’re ready to venture into Safari 5 extensions, check out the step-by-step tutorial on Mashable, look to Apple’s Safari Extensions Development Guide for details on how to build your own extensions, and sort through the dozens of Safari 5 extensions on the Safari Extensions Tumblr site.
What will these extensions do? Check out Coda Notes, an extension being worked on by our friends at Panic. Other favorites include Safari BitLy Shortener (to shorten long URLs), Safari Live CSS Editor.
Apple is sometimes late to the party, but they’re doing extensions the Apple way with an upcoming Gallery and distribution system.