Apple teams up with Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft to improve browser extensions

Apple has brought some great updates to Safari with macOS Big Sur, including a new design, support for WebP images, HDR videos, and more. Now, the company is teaming up with Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft to improve universal browser extensions for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

In June last year, Apple added support for WebExtension API in the macOS version of Safari. This API is a cross-platform technology for offering the same extension in different web browsers, including Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

As reported now by CNET, Apple and other big tech companies have discussed at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) how they can make the process of developing web extensions easier by reducing the differences between web browsers. The idea is that these universal extensions work effortlessly in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

“We aim to identify common ground, bring [browsers] into closer alignment, and chart a course for future evolution,” community group members said of their goals.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that every web browser will be the same from now on. The companies just want to further standardize web extensions to not only help developers but also allow users to have their favorite extensions in any web browser they choose.

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern said today that Safari is expected to have “big updates” at WWDC 2021, which will take place on Monday. We’re probably going to learn more about what’s new for universal web extensions next week at the event.

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