Firefox's Open Extension Ecosystem - What to Expect

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Firefox's Open Extension Ecosystem - What to Expect /

Mozilla, the developer of Firefox's Android app, has announced that it will soon introduce support for a wide range of third-party add-ons in an "open ecosystem of extensions." This means that users will be able to customize their browsers with various add-ons.

While an exact release date for this feature has yet to be revealed, Scott DeVaney from Mozilla mentioned in a blog post that it should be available before the end of this year. More detailed information will be shared next month.

Once this update is launched, Firefox will be the "only major Android browser to support an open extension ecosystem." Currently, Chrome for Android, which is the default browser on Android devices, does not support extensions.

However, reports from Android Authority suggest that it is possible to make extensions work on smaller browsers like Yandex and Kiwi Browser. On the other hand, Apple recently enabled extension support for its Safari browser on iOS devices.

Although Firefox for Android has technically supported extensions for years, compatibility took a hit when the app was rebuilt in 2020. As a result, it has officially supported only a limited number of fewer than twenty-two extensions, according to a recent report from Android Police.

While you can still use any desktop Firefox extension with the Android app, you need to enable a debug menu, which is intended for "developers and advanced users." Mozilla cautions that this option might lead to unexpected outcomes.

Giorgio Natili, Firefox's director of engineering, emphasized the untapped creative potential within the mobile browser space. He mentioned that Mozilla aims to offer the best support possible for developers, enabling them to build modern mobile WebExtensions.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share

The company's blog post provides a set of instructions for developers to ensure their extensions work smoothly on Android without being affected by the operating system's tendency to shut down resource-intensive processes. Despite Mozilla describing Firefox as a significant Android browser, its market share is significantly smaller compared to the leading Chrome.

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