Apple updates its Safari browser with the Safari Extensions Gallery, which offers features from third-party developers that can be downloaded and run within the browser. Although Safari lags its rivals on the desktop, the mobile version occupies far more market share.
Apple released Safari 5.0.1 July 28, along with a Safari Extensions Gallery
that offers downloadable features for the browser. The company had previously
released extensions support to developers in June, giving them time to build
the tool bars and Web filters that make up much of the Gallery's offerings.
Extension categories include News, Shopping, Search Tools, Social
Networking, Entertainment, Productivity, RSS Tools and Translation. Whether a
tool bar is displaying alerts for stories from The New York Times or a Gmail
Counter button, it seems that many of the Web's major brands are already on board
as extensions. Amazon and eBay have a presence, while baseball fanatics can
download a tool bar that automatically updates information on the day's
In a certain way, the Extensions come off as the browser equivalent of mobile
apps, introducing third-party functionality tailored to another facet of the
Apple ecosystem. The Safari Extensions Gallery can be accessed from within
Safari, or from a dedicated Apple
. Apple claims that the extensions can be integrated into Safari
without the need to restart the browser.
In addition to Extensions, Safari now offers Safari Reader, which offers
multipage Web articles in a single scrollable format, full-screen playback and
closed-captioning for HTML5 video.
The release follows Apple's
June push of several Safari security updates
Safari has traditionally lagged behind its competitors, with Net
estimating it holds 4.85 percent of the traditional browser
market-ahead of Opera at 2.27 percent, but behind Google Chrome with 7.24
percent, Firefox with 23.81 percent and Microsoft Internet Explorer with 60.32
has the desktop-based browser gained much traction over the past year
whereas Net Applications has estimated Google Chrome as growing from 2.84
percent of the market in August 2009 to 7.24 percent in June, Safari during
that same period managed to inch from 4.07 percent to 4.85 percent.
Mobile, however, is something of
a different story. According to Web analytics company StatCounter, Apple's
Safari browser for the iPhone holds a solid second place in the smartphone
, with 22.3 percent. If both the iPhone and iPod Touch are
included, then Safari wins with a 37.2 percent share.
For the third fiscal quarter, Apple reported sales of 3.27 million iPads,
3.47 million Macs, 8.4 million iPhones and 9.41 million iPods-all of which
contributed to the company's overall revenues of $15.7 billion and a net
quarterly profit of $3.25 billion. If Apple has one advantage in its quest to
build the market for Safari, it may be the ability to leverage that bestselling