Safari will soon support web extensions from other browsers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
In macOS Big Sur, Safari will support more types of web extensions and Apple is also going to make it easier to port existing extensions from other browsers.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Safari already supports extensions, but compared to browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox, there aren't many available. In macOS Big Sur, Apple is introducing additional support for web extensions in Safari.

In a WWDC developer session, Apple announced something called Safari Web Extensions. Essentially, the browser will adopt an extension API similar to those used by Chrome and Firefox.

What that means for Mac users is that Safari will now support a much broader range of extensions.

Previously, Safari only allowed share extensions or content blockers. Going forward, Safari Web Extensions will make it easier for developers to code useful add-ons in technologies like JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Apple is taking a slightly different approach from browsers like Firefox. Safari Web Extensions will be packaged with native apps -- though the apps themselves can simply be placeholders to facilitate approval through the App Store.

The company is also shipping tools in Xcode 12 that will make it easier for extension creators to port their existing browser add-ons to Safari.

Along with improvements to extensions, Apple has also enhanced the design, performance and privacy of Safari in macOS Big Sur.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Honey extension please. 
  • Reply 2 of 8
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    Er ... there is a Honey extension for Safari.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    chasm said:
    Er ... there is a Honey extension for Safari.

    Of note I've read that Paypal has bought Honey so take that as you may. 

    Edit: Confirmed, and for $4B??Wow...
  • Reply 4 of 8
    65026502 Posts: 376member
    I've stopped using Safari on my iMac because of the lack of extensions. A lot of the ones that used to work, like wikiwand, no longer do. Plus, I've encountered a few web pages that I use regularly that just don't render right in Safari but are fine in Chrome.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 8
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,573member
    Distill.io please. 
  • Reply 6 of 8
    payecopayeco Posts: 447member
    The question is, since the extensions have to be made available through the App Store and can’t be side loaded, will developers have to pay the $99 a year developer fee? That is going to kill a lot of extensions getting ported if it does. 
  • Reply 7 of 8
    erioerio Posts: 24member
    Does this mean extensions/add-ons are going to start charging for money instead of being free in other browsers? F---K!
  • Reply 8 of 8
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 738member
    payeco said:
    The question is, since the extensions have to be made available through the App Store and can’t be side loaded, will developers have to pay the $99 a year developer fee? That is going to kill a lot of extensions getting ported if it does. 

    My words. How many people will apply for this and pay just to update their free extension for Safari.
    And if Apple will treat extensions as Firefox, ever changing conditions and new requirements, then there will be soon no interesting extensions as are not for Firefox besides add blockers and few others. All I used in Firefox and were really important to me are abandoned as they were required to update.
    Not sure Apple can help developers monetize extensions.
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