New Update Over 450 Extensions are now available on Firefox for Android

SeriousHoax

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In the coming months Mozilla will launch support for an open ecosystem of extensions on Firefox for Android on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). We’ll announce a definite launch date in early September, but it’s safe to expect a roll-out before the year’s end. Here’s everything developers need to know to get their Firefox desktop extensions ready for Android usage and discoverability on AMO…

Firefox will become the only major Android browser to support an open extension ecosystem​

For the past few years Firefox for Android officially supported a small subset of extensions while we focused our efforts on strengthening core Firefox for Android functionality and understanding the unique needs of mobile browser users. Today, Mozilla has built the infrastructure necessary to support an open extension ecosystem on Firefox for Android. We anticipate considerable user demand for more extensions on Firefox for Android, so why not start optimizing your desktop extension for mobile-use right away?
“There is so much creative potential to unlock within the mobile browser space. Mozilla wants to provide developers with the best support we can so they’re equipped and empowered to build modern mobile WebExtensions.” — Giorgio Natili, Firefox Director of Engineering
To support our ecosystem of extension developers, we will create additional guides, resources and host community events to support your transition to a managed multi-process environment like Android.

Transition background scripts to non-persistent event pages​

We recently introduced support for multi-process in Firefox for Android Nightly. This means extensions are no longer hosted in the main process as Firefox’s user interface. This is a key consideration since Android is prone to shutting down resource-intensive processes, such as extensions. To mitigate the risk of unexpected extension termination, we’ve introduced event page architecture to be non-persistent and more resilient to process termination. Thus we strongly encourage developers to transition from persistent backgrounds to non-persistent Event pages to improve their extension’s stability. In summary, this means:
  • Update your manifest.json background key and add “persistent”: false.
  • Ensure listeners are registered synchronously at the top-level.
  • Record global state in the storage API, for example storage.session.
  • Change timers to alarms.
  • Switch from using extension.getBackgroundPage for calling a function from the background page, to extension messaging or runtime.getBackgroundPage.
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. If you’d prefer to polish your extension before publishing it on AMO, you can also debug and run the extension with web-ext.

This is an exciting time for developers seeking to expand the reach of their desktop extensions into the mobile Android space. For community support and input, you’re welcome to join the conversation on Firefox Add-ons Discourse.
 

silversurfer

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Test Firefox Android extensions and help developers prepare for an open mobile ecosystem in December​

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Follow the testing guide on this feedback form and play around with the extension.
  4. 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.
 

silversurfer

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More WebExtensions Coming to Firefox for Android
  • Extensions process support in Firefox Android is going to ride the Gecko 120 release train (tracked by Bug 1859533). This has been one of the many things blocking full support for WebExtensions on Firefox for Android.
 

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At long last, Mozilla is planning to make browser extensions, also known as add-ons, available for Firefox on Android, at some point following the expected November 21 release of the browser's version 120 build.

This week, the organization urged developers to evaluate their extension code in preparation for the occasion, since it's expecting a lot of demand.

"We anticipate strong interest from users excited to explore all the new ways they can customize Firefox for Android," said Scott DeVaney, staff editorial manager for Firefox add-ons, in an online post. "Current trends indicate we’ll have at least 200+ new Firefox for Android extensions on AMO [addons.mozilla.org] when open availability debuts in December."

Full article
 

silversurfer

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Mozilla has announced that it will allow Open extensions on Firefox for Android from December 14. Users will finally be able to break free from Firefox's limited collection of extensions, and install add-ons of their choice.

What are open extensions anyway? If a developer marks their add-on as compatible with Android devices, Mozilla will list the extension as openly available for Firefox for Android, hence the name, open extensions.
Mozilla had originally planned to introduce Open extensions on Firefox for Android on December 19, 2023, which would coincide with the release of Firefox 121. According to a new announcement on Mozilla Add-ons Community Blog, the browser maker will enable open extensions 5 days earlier, i.e. on December 14th.

You don't have to wait until then to see what's in store for us. Check out the new "Explore All Android Extensions" section on the AMO today to get a sneak peek of the upcoming collection. When you browse the page using the stable version of Firefox on your Android phone, you will only be able to view 47 extensions. But if you access it via the Firefox Beta or Firefox Nightly versions, you will be able to browse a much larger catalog that comprises over 400 extensions.
Source: Open extensions on Firefox for Android will be available from December 14 - gHacks Tech News

 

silversurfer

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December 14, 2023 - Today, Mozilla announced more than 450 new extensions (software that adds new features or functionality to the browser) to users on Firefox for Android at Mozilla’s Addons.mozilla.org (AMO) Android page. This milestone marks the launch of a new open extension ecosystem on mobile where developers are now free to create and publish extensions and users can easily access and install them on Firefox for Android.

“Extensions were first created as a way for people to customize their own internet experience, from artists designing themes to developers who wanted to make extensions to improve people’s web experience,” said Vicky Chin, Vice President of Engineering at Firefox. “We’re thrilled to bring this experience to Firefox for Android, where we’re the only major Android browser to support an open extension ecosystem. In the coming months, we plan to enable more extensions for people to choose from and customize their own mobile internet experience.”
 

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