Revolutionize your browsing on Firefox for Android with Tampermonkey
When Mozilla launched Firefox 110 for Android earlier this week, it introduced support for a few new add-ons. The three new add-ons, Tampermonkey, Read Aloud, and ClearURLs, are all available via the add-ons page in the mobile browser.
Tampermonkey is an interesting addition to Firefox, as it unlocks the ability to run userscripts on sites. Userscripts are small snippets of code that may remove, change or add features to websites. What makes this especially powerful in Firefox for Android is that Mozilla limited add-ons in the stable version of the browser. With userscripts, Firefox users may enable functionality that is not provided by one of the few add-ons that are supported officially.
Tampermonkey was released in 2016 for Firefox initially, but Firefox users had access to Greasemonkey prior to that to use userscripts.
Tampermonkey in Firefox for Android
Installation of Tampermonkey is straightforward, provided that Firefox 110 or newer is installed on the Android device.
Select Menu > Add-ons > Add-ons Manager to display the list of available add-ons. Locate Tampermonkey on the page and activate the plus icon next to it. Firefox for Android displays the permissions that it requires. Select add to install the extension and then "okay, got it" once it is installed to complete the process.
Select Menu > Add-ons > Tampermonkey to display the main dashboard. It is a bit tiny on the screen, as it does not appear to be optimized for smaller screens.
Most users may want to select "find new scripts" on the page to search scripts and install them. There is also an option to create a script from scratch, and to manage existing scripts.
Find new scripts opens this page on the Tampermonkey website in Firefox. It lists several script repositories and includes a search at the top to find specific scripts. Type a site name or purpose, e.g., YouTube, Twitter, or download, and all matching scripts are returned.
Installation works similar to Tampermonkey on the desktop, but you may get an error, even though scripts install fine.
Most scripts are designed to run on specific sites. Download scripts, for example, may display buttons or links to download content from sites. Some scripts may work a tad different when installed on Firefox for Android. A test installation of a download script for instance caused a popular video streaming site to display an error message on first load. A refresh of the page resolved it, and download links were displayed then on the page. Downloads worked fine then as well.
Tampermonkey support adds a treasure trove of possibilities to Firefox for Android. Installation of scripts and usage of scripts is a bit cumbersome, especially if errors are encountered. There is also the requirement of checking scripts to make sure that they are safe to use, which is a bit less comfortable on smaller screens.
All in all though, it is a welcome addition to stable versions of the Firefox web browser.
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