The Firefox app for Android will soon support third-party plugins again as developer Mozilla reverses a previous decision.
Back in 2020, the company launched an overhaul Firefox for Android phones, upgrading its security and making the user interface easier to use. One of the casualties of the redesign is that Support for browser extensions has been greatly reduced. Soon, however, Mozilla’s mobile Firefox app on Android has the necessary infrastructure for extensions. So you can take your favorite desktop add-ons with you on the go.
Additionally, it is an “open extension ecosystem” where any skilled developer can come in and create something for the app. Moving forward, “Firefox will be the only major Android browser to be supported,” Mozilla claims, as a creative environment. People can come in and do whatever they want. This gives the mobile app an edge over rivals like Google Chrome, which doesn’t allow third-party add-ons of any kind.
Before you go ahead and install the browser, be aware that the patch isn’t out yet. It is still being worked on. Mozilla says it will provide a “definite launch date” for the open ecosystem sometime “in early September”. The company guarantees everything will be released by the end of the year. In the meantime, Mozilla is offering help and resources to developers interested in creating plugins for its app.
It is unknown if this patch will roll out to Firefox on iOS. As stated in a Mozilla Support Page, Apple has its own extension system for the iPhone that is “incompatible with the Firefox add-on”. We asked the developer if there are plans to extend this patch to iOS devices if possible. This story will be updated when we hear back.
It will be very interesting to see what comes out of this. According to Android Police22 plug-ins are officially available for Firefox on Android including TechRadar’s pick for best ad-blocker: uBlock Origin. There are a few others we’d like to see. For example, there is Tabby to help manage browser tabs plus Enhancer for YouTube. The latter introduces many cool tools for YouTube such as the ability to configure shortcuts.
While we’re with you, be sure to check out TechRadar’s newly updated list of best web browser for 2023.