Amazon Online Software

Can you use Amazon Assistant with Safari?

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Amazon Assistant is an add-on (or extension) for your browser that can alert you on the latest Amazon deals, as well as making it easy to add items to your wish list, even products that are on rival online stores.

What browsers can you use Amazon Assistant with?

Amazon lists the add-on as being available Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera. But not Safari.

Why don’t they have an extension for Safari?

We don’t officially know, so let’s throw out a few suggestions and see what makes most sense.

Safari isn’t widely used so it’s not worth supporting

As extensions are generally only used on desktop, let’s look at desktop browser usage over the last year…

Amazon Assistant Safari

I don’t know how well you can make that out, but Safari is that second line down. Chrome is top at 64.73% market share, Safari is second at 18.43%. The lowest browser share that Amazon supports is Opera, which is at 2.31%. In other words, there are 8 times more Safari users than Opera. So, it’s not this.

Amazon won’t be able to benefit due to the privacy restrictions in Safari

Let’s be clear – if you use Amazon Assistant, you give up a large degree of privacy.

Amazon built the perfect machinery to let them track any Amazon Assistant user or all of them: what they view and for how long, what they search on the web, what accounts they are logged into and more. Amazon could also mess with the web experience at will and for example hijack competitors’ web shops.

How Amazon Assistant lets Amazon track your every move on the web

The extension tracks your website history – where you visit and what you do on them. The modern Safari has a raft of privacy features that has had a lot of companies quite unhappy, including blocking the ability to track across sites. There’s a good chance that Safari wouldn’t allow Amazon Assistant to track users in the way that it does in other browsers.

Maybe it’s not worth the development effort to create the extension for Safari?

Apple won’t allow the extension

Due to the aforementioned privacy issues, is it possible that Apple simply wouldn’t allow the extension. All Safari extensions now go through the App Store, so maybe Amazon Assistant falls foul of Apple privacy rules.

What does Amazon say on this?

I asked Amazon support, via Twitter, specifically why they didn’t support Safari and their response would, shall we say, make them a good politician, in terms of not addressing my question at all.

I pointed out that this didn’t actually answer my question and they didn’t respond. I also contacted Amazon’s press department for clarification and, a week later, have not had a reply.

Is there an alternative solution?

Back when Amazon Assistant was just a way to add items to their wish list, Amazon also provided a bookmarklet – this is a special browser bookmark that will run some code, when clicked, and direct the current URL to a third party website (in this case, forwarding the current URL through to Amazon). This was a great solution for those on browsers that they didn’t have add-ons for and is also how many other wish list providers do this.

But not Amazon Assistant – there is no bookmarklet.

I use Safari and Amazon wish lists, so here’s what I do…

  • For Amazon items, I use the “Add to list” button on product pages for adding to my wish list.
  • For non-Amazon items, I launch Firefox and use the Amazon Assistant extension on that to add it. It keeps tracking of me to a minimum too.
  • If you’re missing the daily deals that Assistant shows, there’s a link to these at the top of the Amazon site. Or just head to https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/deals.

READ NEXT: Can you use the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot as a wired speaker?

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About the author

David Artiss

Currently working for a technology company based in San Francisco, David has worked in IT for nearly 30 years. He is a keen gamer and happily admits to being a gadget nerd too.

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