Why do many Mac users love Chrome and forgive all its shortcomings? After all, low energy efficiency coupled with high consumption of processor and memory resources is sufficient reason to abandon the browser, especially if there is a replacement in the form of Safari. Some people choose Chrome because they use only passwords on a computer and an Android smartphone, but for the majority, extensions are the main value. It’s strange that Apple refused to make them in Safari but still decided.

Safari extensions

Safari will get support for full extensions like in Chrome.

In the beta of macOS 11.3 Big Sur, which was released yesterday along with test versions of the rest of Apple’s operating systems, there is support for extensions for Safari. Even though the company’s branded browser previously supported the so-called add-ons that added new functions to it, they were not extensions in the word’s literal sense. The fact is that add-ons were installed as separate applications that remained on Launchpad but were limited in terms of capabilities.

Safari extensions

Safari extensions

Safari on macOS 11.3 can be customized with extensions.

The Safari extensions introduced in macOS 11.3 should most likely be implemented in the same way as in Chrome. With their help, it will be possible not only to expand the browser’s functionality but also to change its interface design. Essentially, Apple plans to give users the ability to customize Safari with similar themes. True, they will most likely not create a separate extension store for this business – they will cost the Mac App Store. But the built-in tool for uninstalling extensions for Safari clearly would not hurt.

Apple has not yet made any special comments on the emergence of the new feature, saying only that developers will now have the opportunity to create specialized extensions for Safari. However, nothing is shocking here. As such, the platform for working with extensions appeared in Safari at the end of last year, when Apple just released an update, but Cupertino was in no hurry to use it. Only now the company realized that the time had come and decided to launch extensions for the general public.

Why do you need Safari extensions?

Safari extensions

Chrome extensions make it better; Safari doesn’t have it yet.

In fact, the appearance of real extensions in Safari could seriously undermine Google Chrome’s position. After all, if Apple does not restrict developers, they can start creating beneficial extensions for Safari that will bypass the search giant’s browser. It won’t be that easy given how many extensions are available in the Chrome Web Store and how much Google Chrome depends on them. Here are just a few extensions that Chrome has that Safari really lacks:

  • Extension for quickly uploading files to the cloud;
  • Extension to create links to a piece of text;
  • Link preload extension;
  • Extension for changing the user agent (why you need it, read this link);
  • Extension for end-to-end cloud and mail encryption;
  • Extension for using cashback services;
  • Extension for tracking discounts on AliExpress.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg of those extensions that could really be useful for Safari users and are actually available for Chrome users. Therefore, the very fact that Apple has finally approved the creation of extensions for the proprietary browser can already be considered a major upgrade. True, it is not very clear why Cupertino waited so long for this moment. Perhaps they took care of the extensions as a bargaining chip when competing with Chrome would become completely unbearable.

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