Apple makes it easier to port Google Chrome extensions to Safari

At WWDC20, Apple unveiled macOS 11 Big Sur earlier this week and talked about some of the improvements for Safari. In addition to native extensions, Apple is adding support for web extensions which is going to make it much easier for developers to port existing extensions from Chrome, Firefox or Edge to Safari.

Replace iPhone default apps? image: Apple's Safari icon
Apple’s Safari icon
Romain Dillet for TechCrunch:

Safari already supports extensions, but if you’re using Safari, you know that there aren’t a ton of extensions out there…

Other browsers… leverage web technologies, such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS. That’s why Apple is adding another type of extension with Safari Web Extensions.

Some extensions require a ton of permissions. They can essentially view all web pages you visit. That’s why Apple lets you restrict extensions to some websites, or just the active tab. You can also choose to activate an extension for a day so that it doesn’t remain active forever.

The user will get a warning sign the first time an extension tries to access a site and there will be a big warning banner in Safari settings before you activate an extension that can access all your browsing data.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, and we expect Apple is hopeful, too, this new ability to easily port Google Chrome and other browsers’ extensions to Safari will mean a lot more extensions for Safari in the not-so-distant future!


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