back to article Honey, can you shrink the plugin? Mozilla allows desktop extensions on Firefox for Android

Mozilla has teased an upcoming plan to allow plugins developed for its desktop browser to run on its Android app. "In the coming months Mozilla will launch support for an open ecosystem of extensions on Firefox for Android on (AMO)," wrote Scott DeVaney, staff editorial manager for Firefox add-ons at Mozilla …

  1. heyrick Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Firefox for Android already support a handful of extensions

    When the extension system changed, the supported extensions on Firefox went from hundreds to about a dozen. It's been embarrassingly bad for too long, so this is welcome news.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Firefox for Android already support a handful of extensions

      I held off on upgrading Firefox on my phone for ages just to keep using Redirect AMP to HTML. This is so welcome. FINALLY.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Firefox for Android already support a handful of extensions

      I thought that it used to have extensions - I switched from a Samsung Galaxy S20+ with Firefox and the extensions I needed to an iPhone 2 years ago.

      I thought I'd somehow fallen into a timewarp...

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Firefox for Android already support a handful of extensions

      The last time I checked, last year, Firefox for Android didn't even support viewing the page source (!!). When I contacted them about this, they said 'we are considering it'.

      Mozilla enhancing Android Firefox? I'll believe it when I see it.

  2. Alan W. Rateliff, II

    Surprising mobile browser stats

    I am surprised to see Opera ranking so high. Other than not being able to force it to play videos when not in focus, it is a rather powerful mobile browser. I expected Firefox to have a larger share than Opera, though not nearly as large as Chrome considering how it is wedged into Android base loads.

  3. fnusnu irrelevant on Android

    The reason Opera is doing so much better than Firefox is blindingly obvious to everyone apart from the Firefox developers: Opera supports zoom and reflow.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: irrelevant on Android

      As far as I can tell, if I press the reader mode icon in the address bar which appears for most pages with a fair amount of text, the text is reflowed.

      1. Happy_Jack

        Re: irrelevant on Android

        That's a generous definition of "most". Opera is the only Android browser that reliably reflows text correctly when you pinch-zoom, in my experience. It's a shame about the lack of extension support, though.

  4. Alumoi Silver badge


    FIRST bring it back and THEN go for the add-ons.

    After all, ublock and noscript are there already.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's going to be a mother of a security risk

    So, install Firefox and then add extra externally sourced executable code which could have very dodgy extras.

    Sure, that will be totally safe *cough*. I hope there's at least a degree of sandboxing involved.

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: That's going to be a mother of a security risk

      Native messaging is fairly rare in plugins (and the manifest specifically asks for this).

      Plugins are Javascript and in the same sandbox that executes in every single page you visit. So unless you turn off Javascript, I assume you trust it?

      That said... Firefox, Chrome and Android itself is built upon "dodgy extras". Welcome to open-source; you can only audit so much.

  6. lvm

    Do I know something they don't?

    I've been using extensions on Firefox (well, Fennec, but they are the same) for android for years. Ublock origin and Darkreader are the two things which makes browsing bearable.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Do I know something they don't?

      Since the rewrite of the mobile app they have had a dozen or so whitelisted extensions for testing that they had vetted. Now they have finished adding all the APIs back and are opening it back up to all extensions.

  7. Happy_Jack

    At last, an alternative to the rather flakey Kiwi browser?

  8. JollyJohn54


    I use Firefox on PC and Android and one thing I've always wanted was better bookmark handling on Android. Something really simple and basic like being able to sort the bookmarks into the order that I want them. Will it ever get done? I've requested it so often over the years that one of my email address's and eventually also my IP address was blocked on the Mozilla forums and ideas site.

    Maybe, one day, we'll get an add-on that can provide this simple but so useful bit of functionality. I'm not holding my breath though.

  9. Dimitri

    How about basic tablet funcionality?

    Firefox android lacks a tab bar making completely unusable on tablets, unlike just about every other browser eg. Vivaldi, brave, samsung internet, chrome,Edge...

    To add insult to injury it supports a atb bar on iOS.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: How about basic tablet funcionality?

      I'm reading this on Firefox Android and thinking "This must be some new meaning of the words 'completely' and 'unusable' of which I was not previously aware.".

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