Kiwi Browser, a mobile web browser for Android that is based on Chromium, introduced support for Chrome browser extensions in its latest update.
Chromium is the source for many browsers on Android including Google Chrome, Brave, Opera, or the soon-to-be-released Vivaldi browser.
Google never added extensions support to the mobile version of Chrome; a likely reason is that it is an effective option to reduce content blockers on Android devices. Android users have plenty of options when it comes to content blocking, e.g. by using Adguard or a DNS solution, but content blocking would probably be bigger if Chrome would support extensions.
Previous Kiwi Browser versions came with different features that distinguished the browser from the majority of Chromium-based browsers. Kiwi Browser supports native ad blocking, a built-in dark theme, bottom address bar, and accessibility features.
The latest update introduces support for Chrome extensions. The developer notes that all extensions that don’t rely on x86 code are supported by the browser. If you always wanted to run a Chromium browser with uBlock Origin installed on Android, that is your chance now as that extension and many others are supported now.
To be fair, Kiwi Browser is not the first Android mobile browser that is based on Chromium that supports extensions. Yandex Browser, by Russian Internet giant Yandex, introduced support for Chrome extensions last year already.
If you look beyond Chrome, Firefox supported extensions in its mobile browser for Android for a very long time.
Kiwi Browser is available on Google Play but the latest version of the browser is also available on the project’s GitHub page. Since it takes a while before the new version reaches everyone on Google Play, you may want to download and install the mobile browser on GitHub instead as you can be certain that you are getting the latest release version. The release is signed.
Installing Chrome extensions in Kiwi
You need to prepare Kiwi Browser to support Chrome extensions; it is an easy two-step process:
- Load chrome://extensions in the Kiwi Browser address bar.
- Switch on Developer Mode.
The easiest option when it comes to installing Chrome extensions in the mobile browser is to open the desktop version of the Chrome Web Store in Kiwi browser. Just use this link if you have troubles locating it.
All that is left is to find extensions that you want to install. Tap on the install button (add to chrome) to start the installation process. Kiwi Browser displays a prompt that highlights the extension’s extra permissions, and if you accept it, installs the extension in the browser.
Support for extensions is certainly a strong argument for a mobile browser but not the only one; Firefox would have a much bigger market share if it would be one of the main factors when selecting mobile browsers.
Now You: how important are extensions for you? (via XDA)
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