Mozilla extends add-ons support in new Firefox for Android browser - gHacks Tech News

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Mozilla extends add-ons support in new Firefox for Android browser

Mozilla released a new version of Firefox Preview for Android that introduces support for five additional add-ons in the application.

Firefox Preview is the name of the next mobile browser for Android that Mozilla develops currently. The organization started to replace development versions of Firefox for Android, notable Nightly and Beta, with Firefox Preview versions already and plans to migrate Firefox Stable for Android to the new Firefox version.

It was not clear from the very beginning whether the next version of Firefox for Android would support extensions; Mozilla decided that the browser would get extension support and started to integrate the WebExtensions system into the browser.

Mozilla included uBlock Origin support in Firefox Preview 4.0 that it released last month. The very latest Firefox Preview Nightly edition supports five additional extensions that users may install directly from within the browser.

firefox preview addons

All it takes is to open Menu > Settings > Addons to get a list of supported extensions and options to install those.

Extensions are listed with their name, icon, a short description and rating. A tap on the plus icon starts the installation process. Permissions that the extension requests are displayed in a prompt and another tap on "add" installs the extension in the mobile browser.

The following five extensions are now supported:

  • NoScript
  • HTTPS Everywhere
  • Privacy Badger
  • Dark Reader
  • Search by Image

All five of the extensions are in Mozilla's Recommended Extensions program These extensions are reviewed manually by Mozilla and need to provide excellent functionality and regular updates.

The five extensions fall into two categories: privacy (and security), and usability. Dark Reader allows users to change the design of any website to a dark theme, Search by Image to run reverse image searches using the browser and various search engines that support it.

NoScript gives Firefox users control over JavaScript (and some other technologies) in the browser, HTTPS Everywhere updates HTTP sites to HTTPS if supported, and Privacy Badger blocks tracking elements on sites.

Mozilla plans to integrate full support for browser extensions eventually in the new Firefox for Android.

Extension support is one of the main distinguishing factors of the browser when compared to Google Chrome.

Closing Words

It will take some time before full extensions support lands in Firefox development versions and in Firefox Stable. The inclusion of popular extensions in the meantime is a step in the right direction, especially since Mozilla picked some of the most popular browser extensions for initial inclusion.

Now You: Do you plan to take the new Firefox browser for a test ride once it is ready?

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Mozilla extends add-ons support in new Firefox for Android browser
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Mozilla extends add-ons support in new Firefox for Android browser
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Mozilla released a new version of Firefox Preview for Android that introduces support for five additional add-ons, including NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere, in the application.
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Comments

  1. Iron Heart said on April 16, 2020 at 8:26 am
    Reply

    FWIW, Brave (mobile) is getting support for Chrome extensions as well in the summer. Yes, all Chrome extensions, not just select ones.

    Seeing this, I will stick with Brave:

    https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/ety8mm/firefox_preview_trackers_but_why/

    Let’s see:

    – Chromium web compatibility
    – support for all extensions, not just a limited number
    – HTTPS Everywhere + adblocking by default
    – no built-in trackers

    Yes, this Firefox offering looks very enticing…

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 16, 2020 at 10:51 am
      Reply

      New firefox will also support all (WebExtensions)

      1. Iron Heart said on April 16, 2020 at 11:24 am
        Reply

        @Martin Brinkmann

        Yeah, I noticed. We shall see. However, I don’t think using a software with built-in trackers that can’t be removed should be recommended. Plus, there is nothing stopping Mozilla from integrating an adblocker by default. Except maybe them having ties to the ad industry. At least I can’t think of any real, technical reason.

      2. Anonymous said on April 16, 2020 at 11:36 am
        Reply

        Your excited for new Firefox for android.Now you say built in trackers but this isn’t for obtaining
        data and selling it for a profit.It might only be for the preview version & once the stable version is available those trackers won’t be there.

      3. Iron Heart said on April 16, 2020 at 12:22 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        “Excited” was pure irony, my dude. Firefox for Android is a privacy nightmare.

      4. Greg said on April 17, 2020 at 5:55 am
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        Ad Blokers IMO during this CoronaVirus should be Banned , how else are people gonna eat/drink let alone anything else or pay there Rent, do you know?

      5. Iron Heart said on April 17, 2020 at 6:28 am
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        @Greg

        1) Adblockers are a security measure, because malware has been distributed via ads in the past. Yes, even in reputable ad networks. Turning off security measures is ill-advised, always.

        2) It’s not like all websites form the livelihood of their owners. Believe it or not, most websites only supplement a pre-existing company with pre-existing products and have always been a cost liability, not generating surplus.

        3) Websites already have the ability to block access for users running adblockers, if their owners really depend on them (and by extension, the displayed ads) to make a living.

        In short, nope.

    2. Benjamin said on April 16, 2020 at 6:39 pm
      Reply

      Brave is a for profit driven advertising agent financed by some investors seeking the usual profits.

      1. Iron Heart said on April 17, 2020 at 6:34 am
        Reply

        @Benjamin

        Um, dear Benjamin, Mozilla is funded by the biggest ad company in the world, Google. That’s also why their default privacy settings are so bad, pure courtesy to their sponsor, who needs to spy on users in order to make money. Also, Firefox is not developed by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, but by the for-profit Mozilla Corporation.

        Brave’s goal is to make ads privacy friendly by serving them locally as system notifications, instead of HTML elements with tracking scripts attached. So yes, Brave is an ad company, but with the goal of reforming the current system for the better. Furthermore, Brave’s ads are fully opt in and deactivated by default.

        Mozilla = Spyware business in the interest of the ad business Google.

        Brave = Ad business with privacy-respecting ads as their goal.

        Yes, they both have something to do with ads, but this is way too much “apples and oranges” for my liking.

  2. Anonymous said on April 16, 2020 at 10:18 am
    Reply

    I look forward to using it once the stable version is made available.
    Do we have to install it or does Mozilla push it out to everyone ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 16, 2020 at 10:50 am
      Reply

      If you have installed the old Firefox for Android, you will be migrated automatically.

  3. Trey said on April 16, 2020 at 10:23 am
    Reply

    Really great news. Glad they picked ublock and badger. Might just move from current FF on Android to preview.

    1. Iron Heart said on April 16, 2020 at 11:26 am
      Reply

      @Trey

      Why use Privacy Badger in an application that comes with hardcoded trackers, though? What’s the point? You might fend off other trackers, but the built-in Google Analytics and Leanplum will track the hell out of you anyway.

      1. Damien said on April 16, 2020 at 12:45 pm
        Reply

        So what android browser should I use ? With no trackers… Bromite ? Brave? Sthg else?

      2. Max said on April 16, 2020 at 4:27 pm
        Reply

        Samsung Internet + ad blocker extension?

      3. Iron Heart said on April 16, 2020 at 5:19 pm
        Reply

        @Max

        Samsung Internet is better than Firefox, nice performance as well. My top dogs are Bromite and Brave so far.

      4. Iron Heart said on April 16, 2020 at 5:18 pm
        Reply

        @Damien

        Yes, Bromite is good. The best, would recommend.

        Use Brave if you want to (in the future) use Chrome extensions other than an adblocker (both Bromite and Brave have that built in), Brave is getting extension support in the summer.

      5. AndroidUser said on April 24, 2020 at 9:40 pm
        Reply

        What a bunch of nonsense. Have you even tried it? The tracking can in fact be disabled, all three of them. Mozilla has always been about privacy, and has always included options to opt-out of any data tracking systems.

        Firefox is lightyears ahead of any other browser and will probably continue as long as it last. Other browsers can only get ahead by being preinstalled.

      6. Iron Heart said on April 25, 2020 at 10:26 am
        Reply

        @AndroidUser

        My criticism is mainly concerned with:

        – the trackers being present / installed by default in the first place and
        – the trackers being active by default.

        You can turn the trackers off in the settings (and you’d have to trust that the setting actually turns them off, and it doesn’t remove them anyway), but that doesn’t make it okay to preinstall them.

        I think your assertion that a browser which contains hardcoded trackers by default cares about privacy can’t be taken seriously, and that’s just a contradiction:

        > Mozilla has always been about privacy, and has always included options to opt-out of any data tracking systems. (Kind reminder: Those systems shouldn’t be present in the first place if they really cared.)

        And yes, there are browsers which have a better privacy level than Firefox:

        – Ungoogled Chromium, Brave, Pale Moon, Basilisk (Desktop)
        – Bromite, Brave (Mobile)

  4. nealis said on April 16, 2020 at 11:09 am
    Reply

    Been following the progress a bit closely, but the scrolling is still a bit off as with every Firefox android. Deal breaker for me

  5. Geo said on April 16, 2020 at 2:29 pm
    Reply

    Do they have a timeline for when all extensions will be supported? I use several smaller ones that don’t get much attention an a few that aren’t in the FF repository and I’m wondering if they’ll eventually open it up to all extensions like regular FF mobile does.

  6. KingKong said on April 16, 2020 at 2:44 pm
    Reply

    I aint using it before we have full access to about:config

  7. motang said on April 16, 2020 at 3:08 pm
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    This is great news, I use uBlock Origin for privacy (not for blocking ads), though I started with Privacy Badger, uBlock seems do it more automatically for what I need and I don’t need to babysit it. Also I use HTTPS Everywhere and Dark Rearder on the desktop and seeing these are going to supported for Android makes me very happy.

    1. Iron Heart said on April 17, 2020 at 8:29 am
      Reply

      @motang

      Same question I’ve already asked @Trey: Why use uBlock Origin or Privacy Badger in a browser that already comes with built-in, hardcoded trackers (Google Analytics, Leanplum, Adjust). What is the point? Not saying this to offend anyone, I would just like to hear the rationale behind it. I mean, there are at least three trackers you won’t be able to defend yourself against anyway, one of them operated by Google(!).

      1. Anonymous said on April 17, 2020 at 11:55 am
        Reply

        Your spinning a lot of BS on this, they’re still in the preview phase of the software.lt is required to fine tune it before it’s stable release.After that they may remove those trackers.

        It’s not for tracking and gathering data to sell for money.So let’s not jump to any conclusions here.

        Take a look at what is enabled by default in brave.They allow Twitter & Facebook.Who wants that ?

        And then you need to look at brave on android,it has more 1 star reviews than Chrome.What an embarrassment.And for those using brave, you need to wear a tin foil hat to fully appreciate it. 😅

      2. Iron Heart said on April 17, 2020 at 12:41 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > Your spinning a lot of BS on this, they’re still in the preview phase of the software.lt is required to fine tune it before it’s stable release.After that they may remove those trackers.

        The fact is, currently it contains hardcoded trackers, no need to dance around that fact. I’ll take your word for it that they will be removed when the product is final, as long as you take my laughter if and wehn they aren’t being removed at all. By the way, even in a beta version, some basic telemetry should suffice, they do not need hardcoded trackers.

        > It’s not for tracking and gathering data to sell for money.So let’s not jump to any conclusions here.

        There is an option which says that data is being used for marketing purposes.

        > Take a look at what is enabled by default in brave.They allow Twitter & Facebook.Who wants that ?

        My dude, Brave does not come with any tracker preinstalled. It whitelists some Facebook and Twitter trackers, should the browser encounter them, because Facebook and Twitter misuse some tracking cookies for legitimate functionality, i.e. if you block these trackers, their login forms will break. Brave used to block these by default, but a large number of user complaints led to them being whitelisted. They are transparent about their whitelist and you can easily disable it in the settings. By the way, not even uBlock Origin does block these trackers by default, because if it did, you wouldn’t be able to log into Facebook or Twitter with uBlock Origin enabled.

        Does that mean uBlock Origin = Big Bad, or are we merely dealing with defaults here that work for most people? If the latter is the case, then why are you not willing to apply the same kind of fairness to Brave?

        > And then you need to look at brave on android,it has more 1 star reviews than Chrome.What an embarrassment.And for those using brave, you need to wear a tin foil hat to fully appreciate it. 😅

        So does Firefox, it has lots of 1 star reviews as well. Most 1 star reviews, no matter which product, are written by idiots, unless the product itself is really shitty. This is certainly not the case with Brave. One can also read lots of reviews dealing with Firefox’s shitty performance and privacy on Android, what now?

        Oh, you are certainly not wearing a tinfoil hat, nor do you care about privacy at all. Because if privacy was important to you, you wouldn’t use Firefox with hardcoded trackers built-in. Logical, eh?

  8. Rosmano said on April 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm
    Reply

    Sweet!
    I love Firefox in Android. :)
    Glad to see this update, since it actually includes all the extensions that I currently use.

    1. T J said on April 16, 2020 at 5:40 pm
      Reply

      @ Iron Heart

      “Firefox for Android is a privacy nightmare.”
      “there is nothing stopping Mozilla from integrating an adblocker by default. Except maybe them having ties to the ad industry.”

      You mean like Chrome, Chrome derivatives, Brave ? All the other non Firefox browsers ?

      You do not use Firefox ! Therefore what gives you the right to pontificate and comment (as usual) about Firefox ?

      GFAM and give your typing finger a rest !

      1. Iron Heart said on April 17, 2020 at 6:43 am
        Reply

        @T J

        > You mean like Chrome, Chrome derivatives, Brave ? All the other non Firefox browsers ?

        1) Not all Chromium-based browsers have ties to the ad industry.

        2) Mozilla is funded by Google, the biggest ad company in the world. Their shitty privacy settings enable Google’s spying – and they know damn well that most FF users do not bother with about:config. Brave has sane privacy settings and serves privacy-respecting ads locally via system notification, their revenue does not depend on enabling tracking scripts on the web, like that of Google (and by extension, Mozilla). Yes, both have something to do with ads, but it’s the privacy aspect which differentiates them.

        But you did know that already, didn’t you…

        > You do not use Firefox ! Therefore what gives you the right to pontificate and comment (as usual) about Firefox ?

        Make no mistake, I am fully aware of Mozilla’s and Firefox’s current status. So, what gives me the right to comment on Firefox?

        1) My criticisms are true, and can be verified. It’s not like I make them up.

        2) Mozilla is deserving of criticism, since they claim to respect your privacy while doing the opposite. Built-in trackers in Firefox Mobile… I mean, it doesn’t get more obvious, or does it?

        > GFAM and give your typing finger a rest !

        The fanboys, of which you are one, are not resting either. Why should I? So that you can spread your unbalanced apologism and smooth talking again unhindered? Nah, don’t think so.

  9. Palefucks said on April 16, 2020 at 7:37 pm
    Reply

    Fairly off topic: I know waterfox got bought by an ads enterprise… Has this influenced the latest waterfox builds? Are there new telemetries added? Thank you.

    1. Iron Heart said on April 17, 2020 at 8:25 am
      Reply

      @Palefucks

      As far as I can tell, it hasn’t influenced Waterfox so far. Seems to be as good as before. No visible user complaints about something privacy-infesting, either.

      Would still recommend, but you need to keep an eye open in regards to the new owner in any case.

  10. Marko said on April 16, 2020 at 9:22 pm
    Reply

    Don’t focus on any particular browser, use all of them.

    Once we shift to one thing we will have situation like we have now with Google, Chrome, Android, MS, Facebook…

  11. Stan said on April 16, 2020 at 10:07 pm
    Reply

    +1 for Brave, been happily using it for the past year + .
    I’m no Android browser expert but as long as the current CEO runs Mozilla, Firefox will never go on my Cell…

  12. Steve said on April 17, 2020 at 5:09 pm
    Reply

    uBlock is good, but I don’t really need it. “Idontcareaboutcookies” is the best add-on for desktop by far. That’s the one I would like to see in Firefox Preview for Android.

  13. Alexey (CudaText) said on April 18, 2020 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    I am user of Firefox, but for desktop. I use it on Linux Ubuntu. Like it very much. Firefox is better each year. I know that Firefox depends on Google money, but it’s still very good. It has less features than Chrome, but i still use it.

    Using it since 200n year. Thanks.
    New design/look of ‘about config’ page is good too.
    I deleted n bad cookies today using new design of Cookie dialog, was easy to find bad cookies.

  14. Rex said on April 25, 2020 at 3:14 pm
    Reply

    Nobody here uses Fennec? Firefox Mobile fork with all the tracking removed, available from F-Droid. I’m hoping whenever the new Firefox mobile lands, they’ll go ahead and publish an updated Fennec as well.

    Ironic that the very dumbing down that they did on the desktop version by dropping XUL for WebExtensions is best suited for mobile where by definition you can’t really customize much. Even then the default experience is much better than Chrome variants and that’s before you install any extensions.

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