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Safari 5 gets extensions support

Apple has updated its Safari web browser and, among the usual security and stability tweaks, has included the ability to use third-party extensions.

Safari has long lagged behind its competition when it comes to add-ons, which allow users to customise the browser to meet their individual needs. The latest update should bring Apple's home-grown offering closer to the likes of Firefox, which has a lively community of plug-in builders already.

Apple has also launched a new Safari Extensions Gallery which already contains a healthy smattering of offerings from big hitters including Twitter, Bing, The New York Times, eBay and Amazon, as well as dozens of more esoteric tools covering everything from news tickers to social networking and online shopping.

Extensions are built using HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript and can be submitted to the official site or offered for download from a third-party host, which means that potential extensions won't have to go through Apple's often baffling selection process.

Safari 5.0.1 is available through Software update under the Apple Menu, or direct the Apple web site.