Apple impressed us with the very first release of Safari 5, which brought improved speed, a smart address bar and a clever reader feature to the platform. Yet without extension support, the freshman release of the retooled browser couldn’t even begin to compete with the likes of Firefox and Chrome. That all changes with the 5.0.1 release, which uncorks Safari’s extension capability and allows users to dress it up with any number of swank new customizations, from translating tools and news feeds to baseball toolbars. Wondering which parts to bolt on to your naked version of Safari first? Here are some of favorites.
Remember to hit Apple’s Extensions Gallery for a complete catalog of every free extension available. Extensions can be enabled, disabled, configured, or totally uninstalled from the Safari’s extensions manager. Reach it by going to Edit, Preferences, then selecting Extensions.
Polyglots (and all the tongue-tied folks still trying to get there) will love this ingenious tool, which turns any foreign website into a virtual page from a language textbook. Rather than just translating an entire website into a jumble of mush from Google Translate, Franker adds translations after each sentence in parentheses, so you can stumble along in a new tongue then check the English to see if you read it correctly.
Wondering what’s going on outside as you toil away in your windowless beige cubicle? 1-Click Weather for Safari won’t alleviate the monotony of your existence, but it will show you the weather and exact temperature in an unobtrusive icon beside the address bar. A single click brings you to the full Weather.com page for your city, where you can plot your weekend escapes.
No, it’s not a parental filter to do away with raunchy music videos and updates from Perez Hilton, although you will see a lot less garbage with it turned on. A Cleaner YouTube simply eliminates much of the visual clutter that has taken over YouTube, including the flashy ads, the comments box, and list of a dozen or so “similar videos” that lead to YouTube devouring two hours of your life instead of two minutes.
You have a widescreen monitor, so watch things in widescreen. Every time. YouTube wide makes the widescreen version of YouTube the default, so you don’t have to click the right-angle arrows anymore. And yes, it works with A Cleaner YouTube.
Now this is clever. For those procrastinatory types who like to leave messages unread in their inboxes until they get time to respond to them, TrueNew Count adds a separate counter beside the “Inbox” text in Gmail, displaying both the total number of unread messages and the number of new messages since the last time you checked – the number you likely care about the most.