Earlier this week, Apple talked about some improvements to Safari’s browser when it released the macOS 11 Big Sur update. In addition to native extensions, Apple has added support for web extensions, which means it’s easier to port existing extensions from Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.
In an agenda for WWDC, Apple shared more details about the feature. Safari currently supports extensions, but the quality and quantity available to consumers are not up to their peer level.
Apple plans to launch an expansion converter that lets you quickly port your extension. When you run it, it tells you if everything will work as expected. You can then package it in an Xcode project, sign it and submit it to the App Store.
Some extensions require a lot of permissions, and they can basically view all the pages you visit. As a result, Apple has strengthened its management of extensions, such as limited to certain websites/activated tabs. Users can also choose to activate the extension for a limited time, such as one day, so that it does not remain active forever.
The first time a user tries to access a website, the user gets a warning flag, and before you activate an extension that can access all of your browsing data, safari will have a large warning banner in the Safari settings.