In August we encouraged developers to start preparing their desktop extensions for Firefox Android open availability on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). The project is progressing well and we’re on track to launch the open mobile ecosystem on AMO in December. We have more infrastructure development and testing to complete in the coming weeks, but as we move toward release we’ll keep you informed of the project’s status right here on this blog, add-ons forums, and social channels.
To help our developer community prepare for Firefox Android open extension availability on AMO — and to ensure Firefox Android users have an exciting selection of extensions to choose from — we’ve compiled a list of popular desktop extensions (with mobile API compatibility) we’re inviting the add-ons community to help test on Firefox Android. If you’re intrigued to try some new extensions on your Firefox Android phone and offer feedback, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
How to test Firefox Android extensions (Beta, Nightly)
Test extensions are only currently discoverable on AMO via 119 Beta and 120 Nightly versions of Firefox Android. If you’re not already on Beta or Nightly, please follow these links for installing Firefox Android Beta and Nightly.
Once you’re ready to roll with Firefox Android (Beta/Nightly) on your phone, just follow these simple test steps:
- Check out this spreadsheet of test extensions. They were compiled because they possess a combination of Android API compatibility and relative popularity on Firefox desktop.
- Find a test extension that interests you and navigate to addons.mozilla.org on your Firefox Android (Beta/Nightly) phone and search for the extension you want to test, then install it.
- Follow the testing guide on this feedback form and play around with the extension.
- Report your impressions of the experience on the feedback form.
Then feel free to repeat testing with as many other test extensions as you like. Have fun with it! The feedback you provide will be extremely helpful to developers hoping to optimize their desktop extensions for Android usage.
Are you a developer hoping to make your extension available on Firefox Android?
If you have a desktop extension you want to prepare for Android availability on AMO, a good place to start is checking your desktop extension’s APIs against those supported for Android. It is also important that developers migrate to non-persistent background pages. In order to mark your extension as compatible with Firefox Android, add the gecko_android key inside
browser_specific_settings (more info) in your manifest.json file (this is also a requirement when submitting your extension using the AMO API, e.g. with the web-ext tool). During this period you are welcome to update your extension on AMO to address issues while running in Firefox Android; and mark your extension as Android compatible to be ready for discoverability on AMO in December.
Please note — once you’re ready to test the mobile version of your extension, create a collection on AMO and test it on Firefox for Android Nightly (you’ll need to make a one-time change to Nightly’s advanced settings; please see the “Enable general extension support setting in Nightly” section of this post for details). If you’d prefer to polish your extension before publishing it on AMO, you can also debug and run the extension with web-ext.
It’s been exciting to see so many developers embrace this moment to make their desktop extensions available for a new mobile audience. When AMO opens the general availability of Android extensions in December, Firefox Android users will be thrilled at all of the innovative ways they’ll be able to customize their mobile browsing experience.
If you’re a developer with technical questions about mobile extension migration, please visit our support forum for Firefox Android extensions. You can also book office hours support every Monday and Tuesday.