Today Apple announced the release of version 5.01 of their web browser, Safari. New in version 5.01 is support for extensions – 3rd party applications that add functionality to the software. Mozilla’s Firefox was the first browser to support extensions, with Google’s Chrome browser being the second major browser to support extensions. The announcement comes in context of quite a few recent changes to Apple’s Safari browser. The 5.x versions of Safari support HTML 5.0 (still a working draft from the W3C). Most notable is the support for the video tag, meaning that videos can be streamed without using an application (usually Adobe Flash).
As of June 2010, the W3C reports that Safari has 3.6% browser market share – putting it behind Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, and just a little ahead of Opera. Despite its small market share, Safari is a very good browser. Usually a little late to adopt new technologies, recently it has been catching up and is really one of the most modern browsers in terms of support for web standards. Support for extensions is the last big thing that safari really needed to be comparable to any of the bigger browsers. Safari has all of the major features, and the ability to add extensions should allow developers to add functionality that it may be missing.
Though its market share is low, Safari is a good, modern browser, and the ability to add extensions makes it all the more worth considering. Whether or not this new functionality will impact its market share remains to be seen.
About the author: James Mowery is a computer geek that writes about technology and related topics. To read more blog posts by him, go to laptop computers.