One of the biggest enhancements in Safari 5 was the addition of extensions. Many browsers already had the capability, but never Safari. With an API for open development, tons of cool extensions have cropped up that can make your browsing experience far richer, and way more efficient. From social networking to sports, here are 5 Safari extensions I love, and I hope you appreciate them as well.
If you’re in to Twitter at all, you are probably already imagining all the ways this could be useful. Frankly though, it even surprised me a little. While I expected the ability to be able to Tweet right from the toolbar, it goes a couple steps further. You can click the Tweet button to automatically Tweet the page you’re currently on, with the link already shortened for you, and then go ahead and continue writing your tweet. You can also quickly and easily see trending topics in real time, right in your toolbar, which was a nice piece of extra functionality I hadn’t expected.
2. MLB.com Toolbar
Anyone who knows me at all knows how much I love my Philadelphia Phillies. I’m constantly watching their games, reading about the team, checking scores and standings, and going back and forth with my friends about the Playoffs and World Series, and there are a ton of people out there with a love of the game like me. I even used the Phillies own National League East standings in an article on creating your own widgets back in July. You can imagine how excited I was to find out there was an official MLB.com extension. The extension adds a toolbar to your browser that basically acts as the ticker does along the bottom of ESPN on your TV, but only for the MLB. It shows current scores, along with stats, and links to game coverage.
3. 1-Click Weather by Weather.com
The usefulness of 1-Click Weather might seem obvious, but what may not be as obvious is its perfect subtlety. 1-Click Weather does just what it says, it gives you one click access to Weather.com’s weather information. The way it does so though is great, and most of all unobtrusive. Rather than installing a full toolbar that could show you weather info that you may or may not need, and reduce the viewing area of your browser, 1-Click Weather adds a little button to the left of your address bar that has a little current temperature reading, and with one click takes you to the full site in a new tab for a more in-depth look at conditions in your set area.
4. Gmail Counter
Gmail Counter too, seems obvious. But again, its the perfect implementation that makes this extension great. Like 1-Click Weather, it simply adds a small email button to the left of your taskbar that will have a count show up if you have unread email messages. While the implementation is great, and the app works wonders, what may be the best part is the fact that myself, as well as many Gmail users I know, are basically addicted to the service. This means we have Gmail open literally anytime our browser is. Now though, we don’t need to waste the system resources on it. Just add the extension and check your email if it pops up and tells you you’ve got new messages!
5. Click to Flash
Click to Flash might be my favorite extension out of all of these. Look, there is no debating Flash’s usefulness on the web. It absolutely exists and is used in innumerable web applications. The problem is that there is also no denying that Flash can be buggy, and is at the very least a huge battery drain. This is where Click to Flash comes in, and it solves these problems cleanly, easily, consistently, and perfectly. Once you install the Click to Flash extension, anytime Flash appears in your browser, rather than showing the ad, it will block it before it even loads (speeding up website loading times across the web) and will display the block with the word “Flash” in it. Then, if you click the box, that Flash portion of the page will load. If you don’t, it won’t and it won’t waste your time or resources loading it up. Its an elegant solution to a complex problem that one day may not exist, but for now is a huge one.
So what did I miss? Do you guys have certain extensions you love that we should know about? Is there an extension you’d like to see that doesn’t exist? Tell us in the comments!