It’s no surprise that Apple was planning on releasing a Safari extension gallery: we heard the news back on July 13th. What we didn’t expect was that they were so close to releasing that gallery. Today, along with an update to Safari, which brings the application to 5.0.1, Apple has opened up their extension library.

Given the fact that both FireFox and Chrome have massive extension libraries, it was only a matter of time before Apple launched a similar program. If you’re not sure what an extension is, essentially it’s a nifty little plugin that lets you extend the functionality of your browser. For instance, I’ve installed an extension called Feedly. The extension lets me read my RSS feeds in a format I feel comfortable with. We’ve covered a few other ones in the past, so if you’re interested in checking out some of our recommendations, go check them out.

It’s also important to note that Apple’s gallery is a curated list, so you’re not going to see every single extension available.  They’ve picked over the options, and are giving you what they think are the best extensions available.  If you’re looking for an alternative to Apple’s gallery you can also get a great deal of information on extensions from this awesome Tumblr website.