Most desktop web browsers have become so comprehensive that many extensions have sometimes become unnecessary or redundant. This is not the case on mobile where the features available on the desktop versions are often absent or technically impossible to implement. Extensions and add-ons still rely on mobile browsers and Mozilla is making a change that will make it easier for Android users to install these extensions, not that there are a lot of them in the first place.
On PCs and Macs, installing browser extensions is a straightforward process that involves going to an “app store” for the extension and clicking an install button on the extension’s page. This is not the case for the new Firefox for Android, as users could only install add-ons from the browser’s Add-ons Manager settings.
Mozilla explains that this discrepancy can be confusing for Firefox users who are constantly switching between two browser versions. Starting with Firefox for Android version 85 this will change and mobile users can simply go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ and install extensions as they would on desktops . That said, this change also requires a server-side update that will take place on January 21, 2021.
Truth be told, the experience of installing extensions might be the least of concerns for Firefox users on Android. Of even greater concern is that there are currently very few extensions available on the mobile web browser since Mozilla released the new version last year.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that Mozilla is ready to publicly commit to increasing this number. Instead, it is promising to work only on optimizing this complementary experience for the very few that exist. Firefox 85 is expected to start rolling out on January 25.