Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Mac Safari Extension: ActiveTab

Zhenyi Tan:

ActiveTab makes it easier to spot the active tab in Safari on Mac by drawing a line below it. It works by predicting the position of the active tab based on the size of your browser window and the number of tabs.


ActiveTab is available for $1.99 on the Mac App Store, with no in-app purchases, no ads, and no tracking.

This sounds great, although unfortunately, because it’s implemented using JavaScript, it needs full permissions for “Webpage Contents and Browsing History” even though all it really wants is to draw a rectangle.

See also: John Voorhees and Tim Hardwick.


3 Comments RSS · Twitter

1996: A good web browser costs $49.

2021: A good web browser is free, but you'll want a $2 add-on to know what website you're looking at right now.

Old Unix Geek

I kinda wish browsers weren't free. If something is free, it's impossible for others who aren't VC-backed to compete. (And VC-backed entities want to make money off their users). So instead, those who just want to make things better relegated to making little tools that make things slightly less awful. They can't really fix anything properly. And they live the lives of parasites: if the entity whose tool they extend turns over in its sleep, they get crushed.

Agreed. Netscape (by bundling their browser with ISP discs, effectively making it free for almost anyone in the perception of users) and famously also Microsoft (by literally making IE free, or bundling it with their OS, depending on how you look at it) created an expectation that browser don't need to be paid for.

Apple also shares some of the blame by not discouraging the App Store pricing race to the bottom.

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