Firefox’s Android app will quickly assist an “open ecosystem of extensions,” developer Mozilla has announced, permitting customers to customise the browser with a variety of third-party addons. An actual launch date for the characteristic is but to be introduced, however in a weblog put up Mozilla’s Scott DeVaney stated it ought to come earlier than the top of the 12 months. Extra particulars shall be introduced subsequent month.
With the discharge, Firefox claims it will likely be the “solely main Android browser to assist an open extension ecosystem.” Extensions are presently not supported on Chrome for Android, the OS’s default browser, although Android Authority reports that it’s attainable to get them engaged on smaller browsers like Yandex and Kiwi Browser. Over on iOS, Apple lately added support for extensions to its Safari browser.
The “solely main Android browser to assist an open extension ecosystem”
Extension assist on Firefox for Android technically goes back years, however compatibility was massively diminished when the app was rebuilt in 2020. Since then it’s solely formally supported a restricted variety of lower than two dozen extensions, Android Police recently reported. Whereas it’s nonetheless technically attainable to run any desktop Firefox extension with the Android app, that you must enable a debug menu to take action, and Mozilla warns that this feature is designed for “builders and superior customers” and should “result in sudden outcomes.”
“There’s a lot inventive potential to unlock throughout the cellular browser house,” Firefox’s director of engineering Giorgio Natili stated in an announcement. “Mozilla needs to offer builders with one of the best assist we will in order that they’re outfitted and empowered to construct trendy cellular WebExtensions.” The corporate’s weblog put up features a list of instructions for builders to make sure their extensions work as anticipated on Android, with out falling prey to the working system’s tendency to close down resource-intensive processes.
Though Mozilla characterizes Firefox as a significant Android browser, its market share pales compared to market chief Chrome, which Statcounter reports commanded practically 65 p.c of all cellular searching (together with iOS) as of July 2023. Firefox’s market share, in the meantime, sat at simply half a p.c.