Add-on support in new Firefox for Android

One bright spot is the comment from PJ in Wladimir Palant’s piece that I linked to earlier:

Fortunately, once the code is in Nightly it won't be hard to make a unrestricted fork of Stable. Even now, with the minimal case of choosing a different list from AMO, the PR for android-components is tiny, and the changes to expose it as a pref shouldn't be much larger.

My initial impression of Kiwi is pretty positive. It looks like it’s a little behind the codebase of the latest Chromium, but more current than Fennec. So far it seems to run any extension desktop Chromium can.

Firefox is never going to displace Chrome for mainstream users when it comes bundled and most people find it good enough, but if it’s to be the browser for power users, Kiwi may be the new reference it needs to equal to be competitive.

Maybe that’s right, I’m not sure…

What I am sure about is that for this to happen, Firefox has had to go through two iterations of carefully saving the bathwater while intentionally throwing out the baby. It’s sad.

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Firefox’s new plan is that developers will have to pay in order to get their extension enabled (see the relevant blog for some details). Is that one of the reasons extensions are currently disabled on Android?
(Perhaps my previous comment about a baby should be revised, to say the baby has not been thrown out, but is being held for ransom. :slight_smile: )

That’s not accurate. If the pilot graduates, participating developers will need to pay to have their add-ons manually code reviewed to get the security warning label removed and get a Verified badge, or get sponsored placement on the AMO homepage.

No.

So Firefox will be enabling add-ons in Release that are not reviewed?
I didn’t see that announcement previously.
All I have seen is that nightly may get an ability to allow general plugins from Mozilla add-on store but Release would remain with only offering Recommended add-ons.

It is now weeks of Mozilla sticking to their guns that the current path of disabled add-ons is correct and the user Play Store score is still diving. Down to 3.9 now and if the current user reviews continue Firefox is on track for a score of about 2.
Firefox users have almost universally said the new update is terrible. Mozilla need to post something to say they see the user pain and what immediate steps they are taking to try and correct the wrong that has occurred.
The Mozilla blogs I have seen have only ever restated the path users said they do not want of Release will allow Recommended add-ons as they are approved by Mozilla.

For comparison Play Store user review score:
Microsoft Edge 4.5
Google Chrome 4.1
Brave 4.3
Kiwi 4.1
Opera 4.5
Dolphin 4.1
Duckduckgo 4.7
Samsung 4.5
Firefox 3.9 (down from 4.3 prior to Firefox 79 release)

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These are two separate issues.

The pilot for the Promoted Add-ons program currently only applies to desktop because there isn’t support for users to load general add-ons on mobile.

And just to confirm, we are working on building the setting that will enable general add-on support for add-ons on the mobile Nightly channel. We don’t have concrete plans beyond that, although we are working on continuously improving support for the release channel.

Agreed. It seems there is a sense of denial going around that Mozilla goofed up. Users want specific, bulleted next steps. Not empty words such as “continuing to improve support.” We already know features are being updated.

But after gutting out something, it should be at the top of your list to replace. Not something you “are looking into.” That sounds like breaking a bone and maybe thinking about going to the doctor to get it fixed.

We really appreciate that you are updating us Caitlin. But it would be great to see an update on a grander scale. I’m pretty sure some novice users have no idea what happened when they opened Firefox after the update.

I also miss IDCAC, but the point isn’t about allowing any one particular add-on, it should be about allowing the users to decide for themselves, even if that means clicking past a “here be dragons” warning.

I thought the move to webextensions was done to drop insecure add-ons? firefox lets me run any add-on on a PC, why not the same ones on my phone?

If mozilla wants to keep users (or even expand users) they need to understand what users want, not impose what mozilla wants …

Yes I don’t care about cookies it’s nice complement to uBlock origin. I wish it become recomended extension.

I was suggested from the Mozilla Firefox NNTP support forum to post to this thread about my recent shocks at what Mozilla did when Firefox for Android v80 released:

  1. You killed support for the Mozilla skins. Gone is support for my Eesti 3 theme. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/estonia-eesti-3/

  2. For Firefox on Andriod, you killed the open tab list. I can no longer drag and drop tabs to be in the order I want them in. You killed the display of tabs two-wide.

  3. You decided to relocate the URL bar to the BOTTOM of the browser window!? Oh so not cool! That was located back at the top the second I figured out how to do so!

Instead of focusing on true improvements to Mozilla products (Stability, speed, reducing memory bloat), you waste time and energy re-engineering perfect working eye candy in the product. Seriously?!?!?

On Linux, I am holding UbuntuZilla at FF 79.0 and SERIOUSLY considering abandoning ship… on my browser profile I have upgraded right along since Netscape Navigator! I am VERY DISAPPOINTED in the direction Mozilla is chasing after with what little development resources it has left.

Is there ways / settings to set to UNDO what you broke in FF 80?

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Dear Caitlin,
as we read the ff rating dropped from 4.3 to 3.9 and as i saw, about 85% are 1 star ratings.
My company produces and rents coffee centers to big offices. our last year update wss critised badly by the customers (not easy to use, coffee splashes aside tje cup,…)
after 3 weeks we offered all customers to take back the 2020-machines and give the 2019-modell and a voucher. one year of work wasn’t accepted by the customers.

now the new ff is declined by about 85% of tje rating-users. but it seems noone of Mozilla cares. Maybe the developers think, that the users don’t understand the gift of them.

but why u don’t say: oky folks, that’s a misunderstanding, here’s ff 68 as well AS A CHOICE, we learned our lesson and try to improve ff 80 that it’s a real improvement which the users like?
why you don’t allow a dkwngrade (and hide it in the apk archiv? why u don’t work for tje customers? give us the freedom of choosing! don’t be stubborn because u did not match the expectations of the users. Please.

Hello, I saw in this Update on extension support in the new Firefox for Android that came out on Sept 2 that " We are also working on enabling support for persistent loading of all extensions listed on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) on Firefox for Android Nightly.
Being that I really, really need this capability, I just installed the Nightly version. how do I turn it on??

I used to think of myself as a cautious person I was using the “AdGuard extension”, but after watching “The Great Hack” on Netflix, I guess I became Paranoid. I added Privacy Badger, then Ghostery.

Because my eyesight is bad I have to Zoom almost all webpages, This causes parts of the web pages to be hidden, one would think Firefox for Android would have fixed this by now, but no. So I had to hunt for extensions that would do that for Firefox, I found two extensions that would do the job, “Fennec TextWrap” and “Fit To Width” All five extensions work well together. No browser crashes, no web sites not working. Then came Daylight, with only the Privacy Badger still enabled and working.

I then read about Firefox nightly, so how can I get it to work on addons.mozilla.org so I can start installing the extensions that I want, need, and see if they still work. If they do not work I don’t expect firefox to fix them, that is for the developers to do. It is my job to install, test, and inform the developers if there are any problems.

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Hi @lost_cowboy, this setting isn’t available yet in Nightly. We expect it will become available at the end of September and will update this thread when it is.

For everybody’s info - this is the grid of features in the pipeline: https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/projects/45
This change is in the Q4 column as I write this.

Having been using Nightly recently on my tablet I’m glad to see proposed improvements to tab handling for larger screens. It’s very phone-oriented.

Speak for yourself … I haven’t appreciated the very patronizing and very uninformative updates. I don’t think this obfuscation campaign should be blamed on any individual unless there’s clear evidence; I expect there was a decision made in a meeting, along the lines of “Clearly, there will be a shitstorm if we tell the truth, but we can’t look like we’ve shut down communication, and we can’t tell the kind of lies that will get thrown back at us later. We need plausible deniability. We’re going to have to create the appearance of updates without actually saying anything informative.”

I don’t envy the person who gets that assignment.

Not denying that, but she’s the only person at Mozilla giving updates.

We do deserve more though. Mozilla is turning away from their Open Web approach. Now they cannot see how they are closing others out. Sure, Github is great … for the developers. Every topic about a suggestion is closed down, even if is a request for a feature missing from a previous release.

Heck, Microsoft has somewhat learned they cannot stagnate with Edge. Mozilla is going the opposite direction.

I think we can’t say with any certainty WHAT Mozilla might be doing, other than “refusing to give honest answers”. A project going through a major change can’t also be stagnant.

Most of the time, evasive answers are an attempt to delay revealing a piece of information that, when it’s found out, is going to make the evader look very bad.

Not really. I’ve been following the UX changes (badly needed for tablets!) back from the grid I linked to, and there are user suggestions behind some of that. But they seem to raise their own issues once they decide to do something and close the originals, unlike in bugzilla.
And they do actively discourage noise in their issues by closing them to non-contributors. Reading this thread, I can understand why!