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Update on extension support in the new Firefox for Android

Dec. 12, 2023 UPDATE: Please see this post for the most updated information around extensions on Firefox for Android.


Last week, we finished rolling out the new Firefox for Android experience. This launch was the culmination of a year and a half of work rebuilding the mobile browser for Android from the ground up, replacing the previous application’s codebase with GeckoView—Mozilla’s new mobile browser engine—to create a fast, private, and customizable mobile browser. With GeckoView, our mobile development team can build and ship features much faster than before. The launch is a starting point for our new Android experience, and we’re excited to continue developing and refining features.

This means continuing to build support for add-ons. In order to get the new browser to users as soon as possible—which was necessary to iterate quickly on user feedback and limit resources needed to maintain two different Firefox for Android applications—we made some tough decisions about our minimum criteria for launch. We looked at add-on usage on Android, and made the decision to start by building support for add-ons in the Recommended Extensions program that were commonly installed by our mobile users. Enabling a small number of extensions in the initial rollout also enabled us to ensure a good first experience with add-ons in the new browser that are both mobile-friendly and security-reviewed.

More Recommended Extensions will be enabled on release in the coming weeks as they are tested and optimized. We are also working on enabling support for persistent loading of all extensions listed on (AMO) on Firefox for Android Nightly. This should make it easier for mobile developers to test for compatibility, and for interested users to access add-ons that are not yet available on release. You can follow our progress by subscribing to this issue. We expect to have this enabled later this month.

Our plans for add-on support on release have not been solidified beyond what is outlined above. However, we are continuously working on increasing support, taking into account usage and feedback to ensure we are making the most of our available resources. We will post updates to this blog as plans solidify each quarter.

11 comments on “Update on extension support in the new Firefox for Android”

  1. Al wrote on

    Thanks for the update! Looking forward to what’s coming 🙂

  2. Juraj M. wrote on

    Is the addon support coming to Beta channel as well?

  3. Franck wrote on

    Thanks a lot!!!
    This is the best news of the year…

  4. Janghou wrote on

    Great to see support coming back for all extensions.

    I do wonder if and where Firefox for Android (Nightly) is available for Android AOSP users.

    This page seems to be outdated :

    Will it be available in F-Droid?

  5. Nathar wrote on

    I never really liked the name “Recommended Extensions”. I don’t have any extensions installed that are “recommended”. To me they are purely “Staff Picks”.

    1. Scott DeVaney wrote on

      While staff will make final determinations on Recommended Extension candidates, there is a community participation component to the curatorial effort.

  6. Flimm wrote on

    I am glad to hear that there is a plan for extensions for Firefox. As far as I am aware, Firefox is the only browser on Android that offers extensions, and this could be a real differentiator for Firefox. Some extensions break pretty badly on mobile, so I’m glad that there are being reviewed.

  7. liettew claire wrote on

    Sounds exciting, how soon until extension development on this engine is made available to the public?

  8. J wrote on

    GeckoView is an amazing improvement!

    However, I don’t see why freely installing addons will be tied to using Firefox Nightly.

    I trust my addons’ developers, but that doesn’t mean I want to beta-test a browser — they seem like separate decisions.

    This is Android; there is an advanced setting to install apps outside the Play Store, for those users that desire it. We can do this without forcing less stable OS versions. Can’t Firefox maintain this expectation?

    Another view: for people who are not privacy-focused (i.e. the majority), addons are a significant value proposition over the competition. So having only 9 addons (or 20, or anything less than hundreds) removes a big reason to use Firefox on Android. So, for users who are happy with the default browser, why switch?

    Don’t underestimate the value of a vibrant apps/addons ecosystem: they’re the main reason why the iPhone/Android thrived while the others (who couldn’t convince developers to boost their app offering) failed.

  9. mobile-app-development wrote on

    Thank you for sharing such useful information.

  10. Andrew Ducker wrote on

    Thank you for the extra information! I’m currently having to avoid updating Firefox to the new version and it’s good to know that won’t be the case indefinitely!