Mozilla will make it easier to install extensions in Firefox 85 for Android
Mozilla has made some notable changes to Firefox on Android over the past few months. In September of 2020, the company rolled out Firefox 79 which included a year’s worth of changes to the underlying codebase. Unfortunately, the new browser build was incompatible with nearly all of the existing add-ons. Over time, the company rolled out improved add-on support, with a previous Nightly build of Firefox for Android adding general extension support. Now, Mozilla said it’s planning to release general extension support to the stable channel with Firefox 85 on Android. This will give users the ability to install supported Recommended Extensions directly from addons.mozilla.org (AMO).
Previously, Mozilla made it so extensions for mobile devices could only be installed from the Add-ons Manager, but the new update will feel more familiar to those who use Firefox on desktop. “We hope this update provides a smoother installation experience for mobile users,” Mozilla said. “As a quick note, we plan to enable the installation buttons on AMO during our regularly schedule site update on Thursday, January 21,” Mozilla said in a blog post. “These buttons will only work if you are using a pre-release version of Firefox for Android until version 85 is released on Thursday, January 25.”
While Mozilla is committing to improving the optimization of add-on performance on mobile, the company didn’t comment on supporting additional extensions. But with installation now more familiar and accessible, perhaps this is just the first step to improving the experience.
Some of the extensions that are officially supported on Firefox on mobile include Ghostery, AdGuard, Web Archives, and Bitwarden. There’s still not a whole lot that are officially supported, but it’s a good start. Mozilla still has some work to do to get back into the good graces of Firefox users on mobile, but this week’s update is a welcome addition, and we look forward to seeing how Firefox on mobile improves down the road.