Apple has released Safari 5.0.1, which activates extensions. They have some nice stuff lined up in their extension gallery, from Twitter, Bing, Major League Baseball, Amazon and eBay. It's nice to see Safari catching up with Firefox.
Now they only need a few thousand extensions more to surpass them. But what they lack in number of applications, they have in features: The Safari Extension installing method is more elegant and faster than Firefox. I was surprised when I click on "Install" in the extensions gallery page and the extension just appeared. There was no visible process. It just happened instantly and transparently.
I thought it could be only the Twitter extension, so I tried Bing and the same happened. Then the New York Times and the Weather Channel and Instapaper and Reddit and Delicious and Rotten Tomatoes... all of them installed instantly, updating the user interface in real time. Really smooth and sweet.
The administration of the extensions is easy, through a panel in Safari's preferences. It allows you to customise the extension that need it and also to update, deactivate or uninstall. The uninstall process is as easy, fast and painless as the installation.
The quality of the extensions seem to be pretty good. The Instapaper extension alone - which lets you clip any web page through a contextual menu for later reading of its contents on the iPhone or iPad - will make many converts instantly. The official extensions from the big names are polished and work well.
So while Safari 5.0.1 doesn't provide with the huge array of add-ons that Firefox does, Apple has done a great job nailing the installation process and providing a good set of extensions to start with. You can check them out here.