Safari extensions make the leap to iPhone and iPad this fall

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Safari on iPhone and iPad
It's about time!
Photo: Apple

Safari extensions are finally coming to iPhone and iPad this fall with iOS and iPadOS 15. You’ll have access to all the same extension options you’re used to seeing on your Mac, with developers getting the ability to create universal extensions that work across all devices.

Extensions are an incredibly useful part of any web browser, allowing you to add features and capabilities that aren’t baked in by default. You can use them to hide your browsing habits with a VPN, to block ads for a faster browsing experience, to manage your passwords, and more.

Safari extensions have (unsurprisingly) been confined to the desktop version of Apple’s browser until now, with Safari on iPhone and iPad limited to more restricted content blockers instead. But with iOS and iPadOS 15 this fall, all that is going to change.

Safari extensions extend to iOS and iPadOS 15

Apple’s next-generation software updates will bring Safari extensions to mobile devices for the first time. They’ll be functionally identical to those on Mac — with the ability to offer all the same features — and developers will be able to build universal extensions for all devices.

This comes after Apple teamed up with Google, Mozilla and Microsoft to form a new web extensions standard. Although it’s early days, the aim is that, in the future, all popular browsers will support the same extensions. So an add-on for Chrome will also work in Safari, for instance.

iOS and iPadOS 15 roll out to everyone this fall, with the first betas available to registered developers later today.