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MintMain21
Familiar face
Status: Delivered

Unlike some other users, I'm a fan of the "Daylight" update to Firefox for Android in 2020. I think the new UI is slicker and easier than the competition, but from the beginning there was always room for improvement.

For me, my biggest concern with Daylight has always been the Add-On Compatibility, or lack-therof. I appreciate how Nightly allows me to curate my own Add-On Collection to try add-ons and use ones I like, but after a year and a half since Daylight launched I feel like expanded Add-On support shouldn't be limited to Nightly, especially since Nightly is, by nature, an unstable build.

I propose two solutions to improve Add-On support on Android.

1. Port over the current Custom Add-On Collection feature as-is to either Beta or Stable (this would include hiding it as a "secret setting" behind the Firefox Logo on the About Page).

2. Curate a larger collection of Add-Ons tested for compatibility on Android that could be given their own unique badging on the Add-Ons site, and in turn installable on any Android build of Firefox.

The former-most option would be the easiest to apply for the sake of those willing to use Nightly's fix, but the latter-most option would be more user friendly, improve user participation in the Android Browser's development (by allowing users to submit recommended extensions for Android similar to how the general Recommended badging works), and free up Nightly builds for testing Extension features that have yet to be perfected on Android.

Mobile-Android

82 Comments
Dzmitry
New member

Any update on this issue?

claudiu
Strollin' around
arnold_loudly
New member

I want a real add-on ecosystem...

...'proper' add-ons that are honest extensions to Firefox. Current 'add-ons' for Android Firefox are just toggles for generic browser capabilities. I applaud the speed and other improved parts of the ui, but the other OS version have managed to rebuild and acheive a lot of the customisation that made the Fox great, and for me, it would complete the successful reinvention (a hell of a job btw) of our beloved Fox to see Android Fox join the rest in having those unique extensions and themes once again. Make AndroFox unique again now that its superfast! It wil never stand out as it once did if it keeps the generic, uninteresting feel it now has. I say this a a commited loyal Fox user of 19 years with no plans to change. I just miss the fox that kept us rapt, not bored.

Bravo315
Strollin' around

I'm hoping the review started in July is making progress. I love Firefox (and the 2020 update, much like OP) but as a European user I must admit it is quite difficult to browse the mobile Web now without 'I Don't Care About Cookies', particularly since mobile devices struggle with responsiveness around year 2 of their life cycle - meaning cookie banners using fancy CSS transitions can be clunky to tap away.

A new batch of 12 or so whitelisted addons would be welcome, but the ability for Stable to install unverified addons from the Firefox repo (with the usual heavy-handed health and safety warnings) would be ideal.

Google are showing a potential weakness by removing mainstream ad blocking capabilities from addons, so FF for Android reopening them up could be a great PR move in the techsphere at least.

DBN
Making moves

Allow Side-Loading Extensions on Android (Not Nightly)

Apparently, the Firefox Android app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mozilla.firefox) is a walled garden; users are only given ability to install extensions that Mozilla approves. It seems strange for Mozilla of all people to do something so harmful. Please open up the app so that those people willing to acknowledge it are able to do things that are NOT SUPPORTED, including loading arbitrary extensions.

Someone might be eager to comment about how the "nightly" Firefox app doesn't technically have this restriction, but from my perspective it is absurd to try to force people into beta testing your software and so take on double risk just to get back their basic user rights.

(Consider also that the Android platform itself allows side-loading apps and alternative app stores, so Mozilla is presently taking a less principled stance than Google and most Android device manufacturers.)

Thank you!

4oo4
New member

This is a really reasonable proposal to allow advanced users to install what they want while notifying non-advanced users that things may not work, the status quo we have now is making more work to end up with a worse ecosystem.

Letting end users install "unapproved" add-ons would actually help those add-on developers find and fix bugs to help get promoted to "approved" status much faster. Instead, Mozilla is unnecessarily making more work for itself while making the Firefox mobile ecosystem worse by the day. We've waited almost two years at this point, Mozilla's manual review policy has failed and is inefficient at best, or being dishonest with users about its intentions for mobile Firefox at worst. Let users and developers help get the work done.

When the best advice that people are giving is to switch to Kiwi (a Chromium based browser), that should be a huge red flag. Mobile Firefox otherwise is a great browser and I expect better from Mozilla when it comes to listening to the community.

claudiu
Strollin' around

New, will be implemented in Firefox Beta: https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/pull/27284

Mpoygia
Strollin' around

Any updates

Byzod
New member

You know we need this, come on Mozilla

Rtt
Making moves

That's why I switched to other browser that supports all extensions. I don't think i'm allowed to mention but google search is enough to look for

MintMain21
Familiar face

We're halfway there folks.

https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/issues/26948#issuecomment-1284027702

We're live in Beta, but there's still more we can do.

clorofolle
Strollin' around

Today I tried to switch my parents' browser on mobile from Chrome to Firefox, they already use Firefox on desktop and don't really mind as long as it's familiar to them (they're not good with phones). The new page is very different from Chrome's, they got overwhelmed with there being no prominent search bar in the middle of the screen. No problem, I thought, Firefox is highly customizable, I'll set google as the home page! But alas, apparently customizing the home page to a custom one was removed. 😞 This sounded really weird for Firefox. But I thought - oh well, good thing about Firefox is, there must be so many add-ons that will fix this issue! But nope, selection for Android is very very limited.

What *is* Firefox when it doesn't allow their users to customize it to their liking? When Chrome beats you guys on controlling how your browser feels and behaves, it means there is a problem. I sadly had to disinstall it on their phones as they weren't comfortable with change, and I was really disappointed, because finding walls instead of workarounds is not what I expect of my favourite browser. I hope to see the add-ons back soon! 😃

tlzyiqleu
Making moves

Mozilla should at least add the Add-ons they make to Firefox Mobile.

KevinBrosnan
Employee
Employee

This will be in development in 2023


Are more extensions coming to Firefox for Android?

Absolutely. Right now we’re focused on implementing Manifest version 3 (MV3) for Firefox desktop (i.e. wide ranging foundational changes to WebExtensions API). In 2023 we’ll begin work on the mobile adoption of MV3. Though we’re still early in planning, MV3 will certainly offer a number of advances for mobile extensions, such as elegant handling of process restarts and improved security by splitting extensions into their own processes, while also retaining critical MV2 features that support privacy and ad blocking capabilities. Indeed our goal is to design MV3 for mobile in such a manner we’re able to open up the discoverability of mobile extensions beyond the short list available today. As plans take shape, we’ll be sure to keep you informed. In the meantime you’re welcome to join conversations about extensions development on Firefox Add-ons Discourse.



https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2022/12/15/new-extensions-available-now-on-firefox-for-android-night...