Saturday, July 31, 2010

Safari Extensions are awesome!


Today I'd like to share my experience using the newly released Safari Extensions. It's basically typical browser plug-ins and extensions that you may well have used in firefox or chrome, but Apple has just a small curated "Gallery" of extensions. However, what they lack in quantity, they make up for with quality! If you already have Safari 5.0.1, then simply click "Safari>Safari Extensions Gallery" to go to there:

This will open a new browser page of the Extensions Gallery( check it out >here<). All you have to do is Click "Install" to install it! No restarting of the browser is required at all, and you gain the functionality of the extension instantly. I must say after using extensions for Firefox and Chrome, Safari's implementation is by far the most elegant.

Some extensions add more icons into Safari's toolbar. Mine currently looks like this:

The way you install the apps and the way extensions appear in your toolbar are surprisingly reminiscent of installing an app on an iPhone.

In order from left to right after the open new tab icon are:

eBay Spy - apparently meant to compare items on your web page to ebay item listings

Translator - uses Google translate to translate your page in a new tab (Chrome already does this but now Safari can too!)

Web Snapshot - captures a screenshot of your webpage which you can crop and edit with annotations and boxes

ADBLOCK!!! - Possibly the most popular extension on any browser, which gets rid of the annoying Google Adsense ads that appear almost everywhere (it is always on, clicking on this button just takes you to the options page)

Expose your tabs! - Not as good as OS X expose, but it's still something

ScribeFire - clicking this opens a web-app which lets you write blog posts! ( I used it to save a draft of this post to my blogger, which is what started my blog revival)

But there are also some very nice passive extensions, including 3 extensions just for making facebook easier to navigate!

Photo zoom is particularly nice, as when you hover your mouse over any picture (including profile pics in your news feeds!), they blow up to the original size! you can see an example below:

The final extension I'd like to show you is called "A Cleaner Youtube" and pretty much turns into old school like so:

I actually scared myself for a second as I thought I'd been phished or something but I remembered I had installed the extension - I just didn't think they'd take "cleaner" to mean "wipe out everything else except the search bar!"

The preference pane in Safari actually has a new addition for Extensions and you can turn features on and off, again without restarting anything (in case a blank youtube scares you too much) :

Apple always seems to be late to implement some features that other platforms or companies have done, but man do they do a good job of it!