If extensions and add-ons are your game, Safari is not the browser you want to use. Both Google’s Chrome and especially Mozilla’s Firefox have far more extensions than Safari on the Mac. That said, some browser add-on utilities are more than useful. Here’s what’s on my Mac and why.
From Free To Not
Over the years I’ve learned to be careful about browser extensions and add-on utilities because most are free or cheap, and without a revenue stream or the potential for profit, what’s the developer’s incentive to keep the app up to date?
1Password – without question this is the best extension on my Mac; Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. The 1Password extension makes it ultra easy to open a URL and automatically enter a user ID and password with little more than a click. Caveat? You need 1Password and that’s expensive.
Safari Restore – on the free side of the ledge is Safari Restore, a useful extension which will restore to open tabs a previous Safari session. It’s like bookmarks but with less management, automatically restoring a number of open tabs and their respective URLs with a single click.
Website Opener – a bit different than Safari Restore, Website Opener lets you open multiple websites with a click instead of using bookmarks. It lives in Safari’s (and Chrome) toolbar making it easy to access. SafariQuickOpen does something similar but has a price tag.
KeyStroke – Mac power users love keyboard shortcuts, and, indeed, there’s not better way to become and remain productive and efficient than keeping your hands away from mouse or trackpad. Want your own keyboard shortcuts in Safari? That’s what KeyStroke does for free.
PanicButton – alright, here’s the deal. You’re sitting at your desk and browsing through a bunch of websites you shouldn’t be browsing because you’re probably being paid to do something else, when along comes the boss, or that employee who would rat on your and Jesus. What to do? Hit the PanicButton on Safari and all those tabs get hidden with a single click.
As browsers go, Safari isn’t Numero Uno in the world, but it has plenty of adherents, thanks to Safari on iPhone and iPad. Mac users have the added benefit of installing extensions which, well, extend Safari’s useful functionality. If you’ve never used a Safari extension, Apple’s Safari Extensions page is a good place to start.