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Apple Rolls Out Safari 5.0.1 and Extensions Gallery

Apple has pushed Safari 5.0.1 out the door for Mac OS X (10.5 or newer) and Windows, patching security issues—including a problem that could see the browser’s AutoFill forms functionality reveal personal data and (potentially) Address Book information. However, perhaps more significant in the long rung is that Apple has finally unveiled its Extensions Gallery, a collection off add-ons for Safari that can be used to extend the browser’s functionality, by doing things like tying it into social networks and cloud services, news updates, photo sites, mapping services, and more.

“Safari 5 has been a big hit, and user response to the innovative new Safari Reader has been fantastic,” said Apple VP of Mac OS X marketing Brian Croll, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to see so many leading developers creating great extensions and think our users are going to love being able to customize Safari.”

Apple initially introduced the concept of extensions when it debuted Safari 5 at the beginning of June. Unlike ordinary browser plug-ins, Safari extensions are developed using a combination of JavaSCript, CSS, and HTML, and run in their own sandbox so problems with extensions don’t cause problems for the whole browser. Users can download and install extensions with a single click, without needing to restart the browser—extensions are also signed with a digital certificate from Apple to ensure they aren’t tampered with along the way. (Apple’s Software Update tool uses a similar mechanism.)

Apple’s Safari browser works on Mac OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.2 or later; for Windows, it requires Windows XP SP2 or later.

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