Mozilla has added three new extensions for its Android web browser. Firefox only has a limit set of extensions on Android, and today’s new extensions add features and improve privacy. These extensions can hide the user’s email address when signing up to a website and remove tracking elements before sharing a URL. Another extension lets you listen to articles.
The first extension is Mozilla’s own Firefox Relay, which lets you hide your real email address and allows you to input a proxy email address that redirects incoming emails to your inbox. The idea behind it is not too different from Sign in with Apple, which doesn’t reveal your real email address. Mozilla introduced a Firefox Relay premium service last year, which offers more than five email aliases and custom domain names.
Mozilla also added the ClearURL extension to the add-on store, which cleans up URLs from trackers and makes them short. A lot of times when you share a product on Amazon or a social media post, apart from the core URL, there are characters and numbers that are meant to track you.
What’s more, Firefox for Android is getting an extension that reads out articles for you so you can do other stuff. The ReadAloud extension uses text-to-speech tech to let you listen to articles. This is not unique to Firefox, though. Chrome offers to read webpages through Google Assistant. Alternatively, you can also use a tool like Listening.io to convert articles into podcasts and listen to them through your choice of podcast player.
While Mozilla is making updates to Firefox for Android with these new extensions, it is experimenting with a new iOS browser, too. The organization is working on an experimental Gecko-based browser for iOS — Gecko is the open source web engine that powers Firefox on all other platforms. At the moment, Apple only allows WebKit-based browsers on its platform — Safari uses the WebKit engine. That might change as European regulations might force Apple to ditch this rule and allow browsers with different web engines.