Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Top 10 Safari Plugins

Safari, now available on both the Mac and PC, is the best Mac browser in my opinion. Better, in fact, than Mozilla's highly extensible Firefox offering. With Firefox plugins getting all the coverage, we thought we'd restore the balance and bring you a selection of the best Safari add-ons.

SafariStand - This just may be the ultimate plugin for Safari. SafariStand adds a few helpful features to make Safari easier to use. Included is a Stand Bar (for quick access to bookmarks) history, and more, Stand Search with support for Spotlight, an Action Menu, and option to restore last workspace, a site alterations preference window with the option to put custom CSS layouts on specific sites, and syntax coloring in viewed source. If you had the choice to download one plugin, this would be the first on my list.

Inquisitor - Ever wanted instant search results like those in Flock? Well now they're available for Safari, from a plugin called Inquisitor. From the moment you start typing in the search box at the top, search results appear by Inquisitor auto-completing your search term, speeding up your searching. Of course, it will give you search recommendations and let you quickly see the results for your specified terms on another site with one click.

PicLens - Whenever I'm on Flickr, I sometimes want to see someone's set of photos in fullscreen. And by fullscreen I mean true fullscreen, not just making the browser bigger. With the plugin PicLens, this is all possible. Photos are viewable in fullscreen from a variety of sites such as Flickr, Facebook, Google Images, and more. Not only that, but it'll do a slideshow and show you other photos on that page.

PithHelmet - As sad as it is that Apple hasn't yet implemented ad blocking into Safari, there's still hope. PithHelmet does the job, and can block anything from ads to MIDI's. It's designed for getting rid of ads, and getting rid of ads only, and it does it well. If you can't stand ads, this plugin is for you. PithHelmet is available as a trial, and can be purchased for $10 after it's expired.

1Passwd - Although not just a plugin (it's an app too), most of 1Passwd's use occurs while browsing. 1Passwd stores passwords, forms, and more. You can then use 1Passwd to fill out the login fields with one click. For people that don't like to spend time remembering different passwords and logging in, 1Passwd is perfect. You can pick up a trial, and buy a copy for $29.95 after that expires.

FLVR - On rare occasions, I find a video on YouTube that I watch so much that I eventually download it. And at those times why should I use a separate app to download them? It is possible to do this right in the browser with FLVR. With just one click, you can download a video from YouTube just by navigating to the video's page, and clicking the FLVR button in the toolbar. The program automatically converts to a viewable format and adds the video to iTunes. Check out the trial, and if you're impressed, purchase the plugin for $15.00.

TabExposé - If you've ever wanted that tiny bit of IE 7 functionality on Safari, here it is. TabExposé simply brings the power of Exposé to Safari, and will show the contents of all tabs with one click. It's really helpful when you want to quickly switch when a lot of tabs are open.

Red Snapper - When writing articles and posts for blogs, I'll sometimes include shots of a site, and Red Snapper has been the best way to take those shots for me. Click the Red Snapper button in Safari, and a shot of the site you're viewing appears on your desktop. It's a quick and easy way to get screenshots of sites in a hurry. Red Snapper will cost you $8.00 after the 14-ay free trial.

Saft - I didn't mention Saft earlier because it's main feature is ad-blocking, which PithHelmet does a better job of. However, Saft does include a couple of cool features, one of those being shortcuts. Let's say you wanted to go to your Flickr page. Normally you would have to plug flickr.com/photos/yournamehere into the address bar. With shortcuts, you can assign a phrase to forward to a longer URL. For example, I could make a shortcut for that Flickr link and only have to type “myflickr” into the address bar, turning it into a real time saver. Saft also includes some smaller features, such as full screen browsing, a Kiosk mode, tab search, and more. And hey, it even includes a Tab Exposé feature. The only problem is that Saft has been known to crash and freeze Safari (which gives us a reason for posting the TabExposé and PithHelmet plugins as alternatives), so watch out. If you want to try Saft out, be set to spend $12.00.

Creammonkey - The one plugin on Firefox that I truly love is Greasemonkey. It gives my favorite sites new features and works solely with local modification. Instead of Greasemonkey, Safari has Creammonkey. Most Greasemonkey scripts are compatible, and there are tons of Creammonkey designed scripts as well. If you want some new looks and added functionality to your favorite sites, Creammonkey is the answer. via