Mozilla has officially confirmed that Firefox for Android will soon offer full support for desktop plugins.
The announcement comes with a promise of unlocking vast creative potential within the mobile browser space. Giorgio Natili, Director of Engineering at Firefox, emphasized the extensive work that has gone into creating an infrastructure that supports extensions. From ad blockers and YouTube video managers to password managers, the doors are opening to all compatible plugins in the desktop version.
According to a community blog post by Mozilla, the extensions will be arriving on Firefox for Android before the end of 2023. While a definitive date has not been disclosed, the company has indicated that comprehensive details will be unveiled in early September.
Bringing this feature to life is no small feat. Developers will have to navigate a series of steps to convert their extension, making it compatible with Android. Once completed, these will be hosted on the addons.mozilla.org website, allowing for a seamless installation with a single click.
Since its debut in 2004, Firefox has been a pioneer in supporting extensions, with Chrome and other browsers following suit. However, the mobile landscape has remained barren in this regard, with Chrome never enabling this feature on its Android version, and Firefox having only a limited catalog.
In a world where mobile phones are used by more than 6.8 billion people, the absence of plugin support in major browsers like Chrome is a glaring omission. The reasons may be tied to advertising revenue, but Firefox is breaking the mold.
The most downloaded extensions, such as ad blockers, have been a constant battle for platforms like YouTube. Now, Firefox for Android will turn on extension support without any additional tricks, setting a new standard in mobile browsing.