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Doohickeys, Thingamabobs and Safari Extensions

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I’ll admit, I’m a techie, even though I’m in media. Not a minute goes by that I don’t check tech blogs to learn about the latest and greatest widgets hitting the market. Despite the fact that my apartment is overrun with all sorts of gadgets, I am no expert. I want products that simply make my life easier and more productive.

This mentality has lead me to adopt devices like the iPod, iPhone, iMac, Macbook and more than 100 software applications. Following suit, I discovered another Apple doodad that I think us normal folks could use and appreciate. Best of all, it’s free and you don’t need to stand in line at the nearest Apple store to get one.

Introducing Safari Extensions. Extensions, also known as add-ons, allow users to add persistent items to Safari, including web-based content and scripts that modify the way the browser presents content. In other words, you can add some of the Web’s most popular content, including Facebook, Twitter, news and sports information, to Safari’s toolbar. No need to keep 10 browser windows open anymore to stay in touch with the cyber world because content is streamed directly to your toolbar.

See the example below of a browser with Twitter’s extension installed:

To install extensions on your browser, you must first download Safari 5.0.1 here. After doing so, visit Apple’s Extension Gallery here to see all the extensions available. After choosing an extension, simply click to install and Safari takes care of the rest. See, I told you didn’t have to be an expert.

Safari may be the last major browser to add support for extensions, but it was well worth the wait. The installation process is simpler than add-ons in Chrome or Firefox. Plus, Apple has made sure its approved extensions are digitally signed and sandboxed so that you and your data are protected.

There are several extensions in the Safari Extension Gallery and hundreds more scattered around the Web. For security purposes, I encourage you to only download extensions from those approved in the Safari Extensions Galley. I have compiled a brief list of the must have extensions for your collection. Since they’re free, go ahead and splurge by downloading all of them. Plus, you can turn extensions on and off from the preferences pane inside Safari.

Must-Have Safari Extensions:

  1. Twitter for Safari
  2. New York Times Updates
  3. My eBay Manager
  4. MLB.com Toolbar
  5. 1-click Weather for Safari
  6. Meeting Scheduler for Google Calendar
  7. Better Facebook
  8. Coda Notes
  9. Last Pass
  10. Snapper

If you’re interested in learning how to develop your own Safari Extensions,  join the Safari Developer Program for free here.

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