Browser Wars Enter a New Round
Analysis: It's been a long time since the race for best browser was this close. Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera are all really good.
Artwork: Chip Taylor
Apple released version 5.0.1 of its Safari browser
last week. It fixes one major security vulnerability
. More pleasantly, it turns on support for extensions
, which Apple is now collecting in its new Extensions Gallery
. The quantity of available add-ins is skimpy compared to Chrome
or (especially) Firefox,
but there's already some good stuff -- I like Gmail Counter, which adds a button indicating how many e-mails have arrived since you last checked your inbox, along with a banner that rotates through recent subject lines. And Safari extensions have the most seamless installation process I've seen to date -- one click, and you're good to go.
Until now, when folks have asked me how the major browsers stack up, I've mostly praised Safari but noted that the lack of extensions made for a less customizable working environment. Now it's got ‘em. One more reason to consider using Safari, one less major distinguishing characteristic for the competition.