Friday, September 22, 2023

Firefox for Android will support desktop extensions

Mozilla confirmed that Firefox for Android will receive full support for extensions. Very soon you will be able to install ad blockers, YouTube video managers, password managers and more. Although the mobile browser already had some, its creators will open the doors to all plugins supported on desktop version.

In a post posted on its community blog, Mozilla announced that extensions will come to Firefox for Android before the end of 2023. The company did not commit to a definitive date, although it did advise that it will reveal all the details in early September. Once activated, Firefox will become the only Android browser to support an open ecosystem of extensions.

Mozilla says the wait was worth it. From the launch of firefox for androidthe company worked for create an infrastructure that offers support for extensions. Giorgio Natili, Director of Engineering at Firefox, stated that there is a lot of creative potential to be unlocked within the mobile browser space.

Getting this feature up and running is not as simple as it seems. Developers must perform a series of steps to convert your extension before making it compatible with Android. Once done, these will be hosted on the website, which currently manages the catalog and allows installation with a single click in the browser.

Firefox will take the lead on Android

Plugins are an essential part of the experience when browsing the web on a desktop computer. Although its origins go back to the good old Internet Explorer 5, Firefox was the first modern browser to support extensions since its debut in 2004. Chrome followed suit in 2009, followed by Opera, Safari and Edge. Currently, most Chromium-based browsers allow you to install compatible extensions from the Chrome Web Store.

Despite the fact that support for extensions is about to celebrate two decades in desktop browsers, the landscape on mobile devices is different. Chrome has never enabled this feature in its Android version, while Firefox has a limited catalog. On iPhone and iPad, extensions for Safari debuted in 2021 with the arrival of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

In a world where More than 6.8 billion people use a mobile phone.l, the fact that Chrome doesn’t support plugins is surprising. Although some extensions could compromise the security of our information, the reason why Google does not activate them has to do with advertising revenue.

The most downloaded extensions in any browser are those that block ads on the web. The latter has been a constant battle for YouTube, who update their technology or charge against those who develop alternatives to get rid of their intrusive practices (like Vanced).

The good news is that Firefox for Android will turn on extension support without any additional tricks. Mozilla is expected to announce the arrival date during the first days of September.

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