Firefox Beta for Android now supports custom add-on collections
Mozilla has updated Firefox Beta for Android to version 107.0 b1. The new version adds support for custom add-on collections.
If you are using Firefox on your phone, you are probably aware that the stable channel supports just a handful of add-ons, for the sake of compatibility.
Sure, uBlock Origin and Bitwarden are fantastic extensions, but many other add-ons do work perfectly with the mobile browser. Mozilla is restricting users to the collection that it curates, this can be frustrating for many users, and even for developers. This is why some people prefer using the Nightly builds instead, even though these fresh-out-of-the-oven builds could be a little on the buggier side.
The Nightly channel has supported custom add-on collections for 2 years. It is not a particularly convenient way to use it, since it isn't available out of the box. You need a Firefox account, and you have to manually create a collection of add-ons. It doesn't end there, you also have to do a couple of extra steps in the mobile browser to subscribe to your add-on collections. The same goes for the Beta version too, the feature is still hidden but the steps to enable custom add-on collections are identical to those in the Nightly channel.
The advantage that Firefox Beta has over the Nightly builds is that it has fewer bugs, so it might be a better option to go with as your daily driver. And now that it has gained support for custom add-on collections, maybe you should give it a try.
How to enable custom add-on collections in Firefox Beta for Android
1. Go to the Settings page, scroll down to the bottom.
2. Tap on "About Firefox Beta".
3. Tap on the Firefox logo 5 times. It will display a message that says "Debug Menu enabled".
If you go to the previous screen, you'll notice that a new option is available under the Advanced section. It's called Custom Add-on Collections. Tap on it, and it will ask you to enter the collection owner's ID, and the collection's name.
The ID is a unique 6-digit number that can be found in your add-on collection's URL. The name of course refers to the collection's name, unlike the number this is something that you can choose. For example, the ID for the Ghacks.net collection is 926754 and the name is ghacks.
Tap the OK button, and the app should close to apply the changes. Open the browser and go to the Add-ons section, and you will be able to choose the extensions that you want to install in Firefox Beta for Android.
Note: Creating a custom add-ons collection will remove the default plugins from the add-ons manager. That's not a big issue since you can just re-add them to your own collection. It's also worth noting that not all add-ons support the mobile version of the browser. So you may have to experiment with them to see if they work or not.
Custom add-on collections are available in Firefox Beta 107.0 b1. You can download the app from the Google Play Store, or from the project's GitHub releases page.
Since the feature has been introduced in Firefox Beta, it may not take long for custom add-on collections to be added to the stable release channel. You can follow the issue on GitHub to observe the progress.
Personally, I use Firefox Nightly as my primary browser on my phone, and this won't change even with the release of Beta 107, because the Nightly channel still has something that the Beta and Stable channels don't, pull to refresh.
For android phones I prefer Mull Browser over Firefox, for the same reasons I prefer Librewolf on desktop.
Mull has had the ‘custom addon collection’ option in the debug menu for quite a while now. Mozilla must’ve simply chosen not to enable it in their builds by flipping a switch.
Add-on collections are bullshit. Just let people install the add-ons they want with no further restrictions. It’s what the Kiwi browser does, and what Firefox did up until version 68 on Android.
Mozilla digging their own grave by over-complicating stuff.
In Android it doesn’t matter what happens to Firefox. There is no competition to Chrome and even Samsung Internet or other OEM clones.
Mozilla already caused huge uproar post version 68. Since then atleast things have calmed down a bit. All features have been restored atleast to Beta channel even if add-on collection feature could’ve been avoided and instead allow all add-ons from the get go. Still wish Brave had some options for add-ons considering Kiwi has it. There is huge ground waiting to be captured in mobile browser space which Brave can if they get things right.
The Brave developers I have zero hope in. Yes, I know, this sounds surprising coming from me who otherwise likes Brave. But the fact is, they do prioritize built-in privacy features and their Brave Rewards stuff over much needed features like add-on support on Android. I am just pointing out an obvious fact here. Even Mozilla is better there but not by much, since add-on collections are just a dumb hindrance and BS. The Kiwi browser is the only one currently doing it correctly, but has the issue of not getting updated frequently enough.
Life is shit on Android, I am using Brave as a compromise solution there (not as happy with it as I am with the desktop version) until a frequently updated browser with complete (or at least vast majority) extension support appears.
there is no worse to come!
Forcing users who want more than a dozen or so extensions to use a beta version of your software is still pretty lame. Sure, it’s better than forcing them to use an alpha version of your software (Which is what Nightly is), but we’d have to be grading on a serious curve to not what an issue with Mozilla forcing users to test their software for them in order to get what used to be a basic feature in stable pre-Firefox 69.
Fortunately, Iceraven is based on stable versions of Firefox software, has easy (No secret clicks and codes required) access to perhaps 100 extensions, about:config access, the option to have full URLs displayed whenever the URL is, and, yes, the pull to refresh option mentioned in the final paragraph of the article; among other things.
Iceraven’s big negative is that it’s a one developed show that isn’t updated very often and, though it has many more options than Firefox stable, isn’t what it could be if there were more developer hours to devote to it. Even with those negatives, I’ll take it for my regular browsing. I can do my banking and stuff like that in a banking app or a more frequently updated browser, while using Iceraven for all the other stuff. There’s also hope that there could be more frequent updates or more new features in the years to come- the dev is very open to volunteers.
At least Iceraven is trying to be what I want. When it falls short, it’s because it’s a one man show and he’s got other stuff to do. Firefox appears to be reaching in another direction entirely- it has the resources to be what I want, but that’s not what it’s devs or their bosses want it to be, so it isn’t.
Does anyone know the Addons collection ID for Iceraven? I used to know it, and now that I’m dumping Brave from my devices I need to get it set up again for my Mull browser. There’s a few add-ons I want that the Ghacks collection does not have, but I recall Iceraven having them, such as Privacy Redirect and Noscript.
Thank you in advance!
I found it, the ID is 16201230, and I had to write What-I-want-on-Fenix as the collection name to get it to work. Unfortunately, even though Privacy Redirect is in the collection, it’s not being offered on the Mull browser, meaning that the addon is probably not compatible with mobile right now.
If you don’t mind here’s my add-on collection which includes Libredirect as well along with Privacy Redirect – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/android/collections/17602001/Addons/
Libredirect(thank @Tom Hawack who mentioned it on this site) works better than Privacy Redirect.
I created this add-on collection because Twitter and Youtube are trash on mobile. And I included all default 18 add-ons as well just in case. You can always create your own collection as per your needs.
Thanks Yash, that works great! I had to name the collection “Addons” to get it to add. That Libredirect has a huge number of redirect site listings – I had no idea there were so many. This is amazing.
I named the collections ‘Addons’ coz I couldn’t find anything else so simple yet effective. So yeah Addons!
I think you cannot see that add-on as that collection is too big (166 today), and Android Firefox currently shows a maximum of 50 add-ons from a collection. It is best to make your own collection, then you can add what you want to try.
I only use this since the uBlock add-on is compatible with it.
As “Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker” appears on the article picture, a reminder of what kind of “curated” and even here “Recommended” by Mozilla extensions remain in the tiny extension whitelist of mobile Firefox:
“Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker is a comprehensive privacy protection extension.”
“We developed a technology called Human Web, which is turned on by default”
“we automatically collect non-private URLs, search queries along with search engine results pages, suspicious URLs that could potentially be phishing websites, information related to safe and unsafe trackers, and information related to the prevalence and performance of Trackers.”
“Enhanced Ad Blocking works alongside Enhanced Anti Tracking to block any ads that would otherwise slip through.”
“Offers, also known as Ghostery Rewards, is turned on by default and allows companies to show relevant marketing offers to users based upon an algorithm we created that anonymously determines intent and therefore particular commercial offers that may be of interest to you.”
To spice it up, Mozilla had even invested money in that thing.
I use Firefox Nightly on Android for precisely the same reason as Ashwin: pull to refresh
After a couple of months of using it, I find it stable enough for daily usage. No crashes or missing features that I can see
Interesting info on Ghostery, any extensions recommended as safe? guess ublock origin still safe. Any other useful ones?
ClearURLs, LocalCDN, Any container extension, Libredirect. These are the ones which can be used in addition to uBO for privacy.