Almost unnoticed with all the hype about iPads, iPhones, and new iPods, are a few significant changes to the program you use every day to browse the internet, Safari. Version 5 came out last month with little fanfare, but two new features caught my eye and I wanted to be sure you knew about them, too.
The first is that Safari now accepts extensions, just like Firefox. Extensions are little utilities that “extend” the features of the program, making your surfing experience that much easier, or more fun. Some add new functionality. Some are connections to other web services like Google, Twitter, or Facebook.
While most of these plug-ins may not be relevant to the way you use Safari, you’re likely to discover a few gems that you can’t live without. For example, I found one called “Exposer” that spreads out all the tabs I have open so I can view all the content and click on the one I need.
To find extensions for yourself, go up to the Safari menu in the upper left corner of your screen and click on “Safari Extensions Gallery.” A new webpage will open. Scroll down and read about all the new plug-ins.
When you find one you like, click the Install button, and it will be added to Safari. Then quit the program and open it again. You’ll find a new button, menu item, or bar that gives you the new functionality.
Now because this is new technology, I’d expect a few bugs. If the extension isn’t behaving as expected, or if you decide you don’t want it, go up to the Safari menu again and choose Preferences. At the top of the Preferences window, there’s a new button called “Extensions.” Click on it, and you’ll see a list of all the ones you have installed.
If you want to turn one off temporarily, click on its name in the left column, then unclick the checkbox on the right side. If you want to remove it completely from your Safari, click the Uninstall button instead.