Safari in iOS 15 will receive full support for complete cross-platform extensions. Yes, The Safari extensions from MacOS are heading to iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.
Yesterday, Apple announced the iPadOS 15 and iOS 15 along with WatchOS 8. The iOS 15 presentation was perhaps the most boring I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched quite a few. Apple employees spent an hour talking about the innovations of the mobile OS, the story of which could fit in half an hour, or even less. They talked in too much detail about what was absolutely not required. Therefore, at about the 40th minute, it became clear that there was practically nothing to surprise users, and the presenters were deliberately playing for time. However, as it turned out, Apple has not revealed it all.
It turns out that with the release of iOS 15, the mobile version of Safari for iPhone and iPad will have support for extensions, just like on the Mac. This became known after the presentation, during further discussion of the update with WWDC 2021 participants. Craig Fredrighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software, said that now developers will be able to create cross-platform extensions for Safari that will work the same as on mobile and desktop devices of the company.
What About The Existing Safari extensions on iPhone?
Despite the fact that the mobile version of Safari had support for some kind of extensions before, it was still impossible to consider them as full-fledged extensions. The fact is that It had very limited functionality i.e ad-blocking or automatic text translation. They lacked other, more advanced features. But with the release of iOS 15, these restrictions will be a thing of the past.
There are a lot of extensions that make the functionality of the browser wider and its use more comfortable. For example, password managers, solutions for automatically check spellings and creating links to specific fragments of pages, or, say, quickly saving files to the cloud. Moreover, I listed only those extensions that came into my mind, but in fact, there are much more of them.
Same Safari extensions for iOS and macOS
It’s really cool that Apple decided to make Safari extensions cross-platform. That is, they will work equally well on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Firstly, this will help developers, who will have to create one extension that is compatible with all Apple devices. Secondly, it will make life easier for users. They will be able to use browsers more efficiently on all their devices without having to look for an alternative.
It turns out that Apple has teamed up with Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google to jointly improve extensions. Companies plan to make this type of software itself more useful and functional. There are also rumors that, perhaps, in the future, these extensions will be made universal. That is, Safari users will be able to install extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and vice versa. After all, it often happens that the necessary extensions are not available, and you have to change the browser.
Moreover, Apple is also introducing tab-groups that will allow users to group related tabs together. Yeah, something that we have already seen on Google Chrome for Android & iOS.