Apple’s Safari is a fast and efficient web browser, but one area where it has lagged behind its rivals is in the ability to use extensions, which provide new browsing features. Firefox is the leader here with hundreds of extensions and add-ons but, with the recently released 5.0.1 update, Apple has finally allowed developers to create extensions for Safari too.
There’s a new Extensions Gallery on the Apple website where you can browse all the latest extensions and install them with a single click of your mouse. The extensions scene is just getting warmed up, with around 150 that focus on areas such as tweeting, social networking, news and shopping – but we’re looking forward to seeing more in coming months.
1. Software update Before you can start using extensions with Safari you should use the Software Update option on your Mac to make sure you’ve got Safari 5.0.1 or later. This adds links to the Extensions Gallery on Apple’s website as well as a new Preferences panel that allows you to organise and update all your extensions.
2. Extensions options Click on the main Safari menu and you’ll see a new option that takes you to the Safari Extensions Gallery. This is a new section on the Apple website where you can browse through all the latest extensions that have been written for Safari it can be found at http://extensions.apple.com.
3. The gallery It’s early days yet, but there are already dozens of extensions available both from big organisations such as The New York Times and small independent developers. The Extensions Gallery is organised into categories, such as social networking and search tools, so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.
4. Easy access Installing a new extension is really simple – simply pick the one you want and click the Install Now button. Safari automatically installs the extension and it starts working straight away – you don’t even need to restart Safari. For this masterclass, we’ll start with the A Cleaner YouTube extension.