Firefox users who run extensions on the desktop edition of the browser will soon be able to tap into more of them on the Android version. In a blog post this week, Mozilla announced that more than 400 extensions will be coming to Firefox for Android starting December 14. This means that any extension on the Firefox Add-Ons page marked as Android compatible will be available to all Firefox for Android users.
Extensions have always been a popular way to enhance and expand the capabilities of a browser. But they've typically been designed with desktop browsers in mind. Even among mobile browsers that support extensions, the number of them has been few and far between.
To help reach the December 14 goal, developers of Firefox extensions for the desktop browser have been busy prepping them to be compatible with the Android version. And Mozilla has been assisting in that effort.
Simeon Vincent, a senior developer relations engineer with Mozilla, has hosted two webinars to help developers tackle common migration problems. One webinar in October explained how to migrate a Firefox extension from desktop to mobile. Another webinar in November covered how to set up, test, and debug an extension in Firefox for Android. Vincent also will be available every Monday and Tuesday through December to offer 1:1 assistance to any developer interested in Android extensions for Firefox.
"We've been so impressed with developer enthusiasm and preparation," said Firefox director of engineering Giorgio Natili. "Just a few weeks ago it looked like we might have a couple hundred Android extensions for launch, but now we can safely say AMO [addons.mozilla.org] will have 400+ new Firefox for Android extensions available on December 14."
To check out the extensions ready now for Firefox on Android, head to the Android section on the Mozilla Add-Ons webpage. By default, the page displays recommended extensions and a small sampling of all extensions. Clicking the links for "See more recommended extensions" and "See more trending extensions" reveals the full collection. Right now, only 18 extensions are available, so Firefox users will have to wait until mid-December to see the new lineup with hundreds of new extensions.