Adding browser extensions on Firefox Android app could get simpler
Mozilla Firefox for Android is all set to get support for the hundreds of extensions listed on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). Launched in August 2020, the app incorporates GeckoView, Mozilla's mobile browsing engine. With just a handful of officially supported extensions, users wanting more had to switch to the Nightly build and follow a complex process. That changes with the Firefox 85 build.
Browser extensions do what the name suggests. They are programs that can be installed within the browser to add functionality, improve security, fix bugs, and modify browser behavior for specific use cases. The January 25 update to the Firefox 85 app will allow users to add extensions directly from addons.mozilla.org (AMO) instead of being limited by the options displayed in the Add-ons Manager.
While Mozilla's move to simplify the process of adding extensions is a step in the right direction, users still have limited choices. Mozilla officially supports only 18 extensions on Android. Non-curated extensions can only be installed on the Nightly build for now. This also means Nightly build users can switch to Firefox 85 if they are using Nightly just for the extensions.
In order to add extensions not supported on the app, the process detailed on the official Mozilla blog must be followed. The process involves creating a collection on AMO, then enabling general extension support in Nightly, and finally configuring the custom add-on collection created in the previous steps to work with the app.
Mozilla told 9to5Google that it is keen to optimize the browser experience and extensions, so that first time users have a good impression about the app. While this may work for most users, power users still have to go through the complicated process to add non-curated extensions to the Firefox Nightly app. Mozilla's focus is on improving the mobile platform before adding more extensions.