It's time to remove plugin support from Firefox mobile

Ian Barlow ibarlow at
Fri May 10 12:14:58 PDT 2013

+ 1 

We attracted a huge number of users on Android by being "the mobile browser that runs everything on the web including flash", and to turn our backs on that without a suitable alternative would cost us. Users would walk away, and say "I used Firefox until the websites I visit stopped working on it."


On 2013-05-10, at 2:43 PM, Tyler Downer <tdowner at> wrote:

> I agree. Once we have a good alternative strategy (shumway, etc.) we can pursue this, but removing plugin support without giving users an alternative that actually works, we will lose alot of users overnight.
> Tyler Downer
> Support Analyst, Mozilla
> On 5/10/13 11:33 AM, Kevin Brosnan wrote:
>> Now is not the time.
>> We still struggle to get mobile content served to us by websites/servers.
>> Our h264 decoding on Android is still a work in progress. There are devices that are blocked from trying h264 [1]. We (FxA QA) are in the process of doing a review of our playback on 70+ devices we have on hand. The issues we have found so far are listed on a meta bug [2].
>> We regularly get 5 star reviews on the Play Store because of our Flash support. Removing it before Adobe EoL Flash will result in negative reviews and some of the positive reviews to change to 1 or 2 star reviews.
>> Kevin Brosnan
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> On 05/10/2013 10:54 AM, David Keeler wrote:
>>> [bcc'd to many lists for wide visibility - discussion should probably be
>>> on
>>> ( )]
>>> TL;DR: Now is a good time to remove plugin support from Firefox for Android.
>>> Consider:
>>> * We do not support plugins for Firefox OS and do not plan to
>>> * The only plugin that most users care about is Flash. Adobe stopped
>>> development for Flash on Android in November of 2011, which is a year
>>> and a half ago[1].
>>> * Popular sites that use plugins have native apps. This includes
>>> YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and so on. Other sites can follow suit or use
>>> modern web technologies like HTML5. Addons are also an option.
>>> * Plugins are a security hazard
>>> * Plugins drain battery life and make Firefox seem slow
>>> Let's be bold, let's protect our users, and let's move the web forward.
>>> [1]
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> mobile-firefox-dev mailing list
>>> mobile-firefox-dev at
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