Apple Reminds Developers That Safari 14 Supports Extensions Ported From Chrome, Firefox, and Edge

Apple this week reminded developers that they can create web extensions in Safari 14 using the same WebExtensions API used in other browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. A new conversion tool in Xcode 12 beta also allows developers to port existing extensions from other browsers to Safari and make available on the Mac App Store later this year.

safari macos icon banner
Apple says developers have two options for creating Safari web extensions:

• Convert your existing extension into a Safari web extension, so you can use it in Safari on macOS and distribute it in the App Store. Xcode includes a command-line tool to simplify this process.
• Build a new Safari web extension in Xcode using the built-in template. You can then repackage the extension files for deployment in other browsers.

Safari web extensions are available in macOS Big Sur and in macOS 10.14.6 or 10.15.6 with Safari 14 installed.

Not all Chrome, Firefox, and Edge extensions will work in Safari, and developers will be required to pay $99 per year for an Apple Developer Program membership in order to port their extensions to Safari. Apple has a WWDC video and documentation with more details for developers.

Related Roundup: macOS Big Sur
Tag: Safari
Related Forum: macOS Big Sur

Top Rated Comments

Rudy69 Avatar
12 months ago
It's not quite as simple as they make it sound. Lots of restrictions mean that 'real' ad blockers like uBlock Origin can't be ported :/
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jacobweber Avatar
12 months ago
Just like Chrome, except you have to pay $99/year to distribute your extensions!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trixx Avatar
12 months ago
Except for the good ones. API’s used by ublock origin for example, aren’t implemented in Safari.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoelTheSuperior Avatar
12 months ago
The biggest issue from what I've heard is the $99 per year they have to pay Apple to port their extensions to Safari. Many extension developers are doing it as a hobby or as part of an open source project, making the $99 a year quite difficult to justify in some cases.

The relatively high fee is part of why RES no longer has a Safari version, for example. To be clear, I think the fee is totally reasonable for iOS / macOS development, but if all you're developing is an extension, it's a bit steep...

Not to mention that many aren't using Macs, and would need to get one to port their extension over.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nick9191 Avatar
12 months ago
I wish Apple or someone else would (re)introduce a WebKit based browser for other platforms. Google has a stranglehold on the web, Firefox is nearly dead and Microsoft’s answer is a (admittedly rather good) Chrome skin.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
topdrawer Avatar
12 months ago
that's cool. you then just have to cough up 100 bucks
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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