Apple Wednesday released version 5.0.1 of its Safari browser, adding Safari Extensions functionality that could shift the balance of power in the browser wars in Apple's favor.
The Safari Extensions open the door for third party developers to deliver powerful new browser based experiences. Technology superpowers Twitter and Amazon.com, among others, are already taking advatange of the new Apple Safari Extension functionality to deliver compelling new consumer experiences.
Here are five hot new Safari extensions that raise the bar for personalized browser experiences.
1. Twitter For Safari Extension
Twitter says the "official Twitter extension for Safari brings real-time trends and information to every web page."
That's not an exaggeration. Specifically, Safari for Twitter shows related tweets and Twitter users. That means Apple Safari browser users don't have to set up an application like TweetDeck to find the latest and greatest related to a specific topic.
Twitter for Safari allows you to keep track of what's trending on the web and also allows you to instantly tweet from the web page you are viewing on Safari.
For my money, Twitter for Safari is the best of the new breed of solutions powered by Safari Extensions. Twitter for Safari allows users to live solely in Safari rather than jumping to an add on application to manage Twitter. Given the power of Twitter as a media platform that is a big advantage for Safari users. High fives for both Twitter and Apple for working closely here to bring a new dimension to all those that tweet.
2. An Amazon Safari Extension
Amazon is always on the cutting edge with its personalization functionality. The web shopping powerhouse aims to tell you what to buy before you even know you want to buy it. With its Safari Extension, Amazon makes it easier than ever before to do shopping from your web browser while outside of Amazon.com.
You can be browsing from any web page and instantly add a product or offering from that page to your Amazon.com shopping cart. The Amazon.com Apple Safari Extension essentially puts your Amazon.com wish list at your fingertips no matter where you are on the internet.
The Amazon experience is another great example of how Apple Safari changes the rules of the game, turning your browser into a shopping cart.
3. Microsoft Bing Safari Extension
You've got to love Microsoft Bing. Rather than retreading the same old tired search ground, Bing is making a bid to provide compelling new search experiences in a bid to win market share from Google.
The Microsoft Bing Extension for Apple Safari is another great example of Microsoft pushing the search envelope. The Microsoft Bing Extension allows you to get instant access to maps, translations, flight status and search results simply by highlighting text from an Apple Safari web browser.
The emphasis is, once again, on a new compelling experience. Nice job Microsoft.
4. The My eBay Manager Safari Extension
For eBay fanatics, the My eBay Manager Extension is a must have. Instead of jumping constantly to your eBay listings to get buying/selling updates the My eBay Manager allows you to keep track of your eBay activity no matter where you are on the web.
The My eBay Manager provides a secure extension to make sure you can always make that last minute bid or buy without jumping to eBay itself.
5. The Major League Baseball (MLB) Safari Extension
So you can't live without knowing instantly whether your favorite MLB team was able to close that one run gap and win the game? Well then, Apple Safari 5.0.1 is for you.
The MLB Extension for Safari allows you not only to get updates on your favorite team or on all the day's games from a new browser bar extension. Not only that you can see who's at bat and who's on base in real time. What's more, users can get "alerts" and live "look-ins."
Let's just say that the MLB Apple Safari Extension and Apple Safari 5.0.1 is a home run for users.