People seem pretty opinionated these days about which web browser is best, with the opinions sometimes resulting in heated dialogue about speed, stability, plug-ins, or “sticking it to the man” arguments. I don’t hold any such strong opinions – I would like to just get online, do what I need to do, and not have to worry about compatibility, crashes, or wait time. And since I have simple needs in a browser, they seem to all be met perfectly whether I use Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.
My browser of choice has been Safari for two main reasons:
- Speed – it’s always been smooth and fluid for me.
- Syncing – my MobileMe subscription keeps my bookmarks consistent on all my iDevices.
One of the features of Safari that has made it much more functional in the last few months has been the addition of Safari Extensions – third party plug-ins that offer additional tools, features, or efficiency workflows as you peruse the world wide web. The best thing about Safari Extensions is that they all work! They follow similar guidelines as the iOS App Store, which effectively guarantees that they will be safe, stable, and secure.
Here is a brief list of some Safari Extensions that I find to be very helpful. You can find all of these and more from the Safari < Safari Extensions Gallery menu.
Safari Extensions (Titles link to actual extension – download begins immediately)
This plug-in prevents flash video from automatically loading and playing on the websites you visit. Ads, pop-ups, etc. will only play when you click on them. It’s a beautiful thing.
Excellent screenshot tool that allows you to capture either a selection or an entire website and annotate it right within the browser with shapes, text, arrows and more – and you download it when you’re done!
This plug-in is great to get your Twitter fix as a toolbar, with trending topics, search, handles from current webpage, and easy Tweeting.
Ever want to have a full-screen Safari? Resize Me brings easy buttons with various quick resizing options for your current Safari window, including full-screen!
Visit a link, click the toolbar button, done! Can’t get any simpler than that.
Another one of my favorites. It hides all the unnecessary ads, links, comments, etc. and lets you focus on the video in a clean format.
One of Facebook’s [many] annoyances is all of the “shtuff” that clutters the page. This plug-in hides extra advertisements and communities suggestions to make for a cleaner social media experience.
This one cleans up the format of IMDB listings to allow the visitor to focus on the item’s content in a movie-poster type of layout.
Great extension that adds a toolbar button to immediately add the item you’re looking at to your Amazon Wish List – perfect for shoppers of Amazon.com.
As soon as you add an item to your cart, it pops up a bar at the top of your browser and compares that price with multiple other online retailers to ensure you’re receiving the best deal.
The baseball season is long, and it’s impossible to watch all of the games – stay up to date with what’s going on during the MLB season with this toolbar.
Slick reference plug-in: Highlight a word or a phrase on a web page and you’ll have immediate access to definitions, Wikipedia entries, videos, social media options, etc.
There are certainly plenty more. Feel free to add others you might like in the comments!