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Mozilla explains why it will make Pocket a system add-on in Firefox

Mozilla explains why it will make Pocket a system add-on in Firefox

by AshwinNovember 16, 2015

A week ago, we reported that Mozilla would be moving Pocket, from an integrated feature in its browser, Firefox, to an add-on form.

mozilla firefox pocket built-in

This add-on will come pre-installed with the browser.

Mozilla integrated Pocket in Firefox back in June, which resulted in severe backlash from users who don’t even use the read it later service, who demanded Mozilla remove the service from Firefox.

The bugzilla ticket which we covered last week, stands as proof of this. But the real question however, is the fact that there was no official announcement from Mozilla regarding moving Pocket to an add-on. Venturebeat, took things in its hans and decided to contact the browser maker to ask for confirmation.

And this is what Firefox’s director of engineering, Dave Camp told the tech blog.

There are currently no plans to offer a version of Firefox that doesn’t include Pocket.

Camp also shed some light, as to why this is happening. Mozilla is always experimenting with ways to improve Firefox, and there is a new one called, ‘Go Faster’. This is related to the desktop version of the browser. The purpose of the Go Faster experiment is to ship new features as a system add-on, aka as a pre-installed extension bundled into the browser.

So why exactly is an add-on better than an integrated feature?

The answer is simple in that, add-ons can be removed by the user. This gives users some much needed control, which is what it should have been in the first place. It also as an advantage in that, Mozilla doesn’t need to roll out a new version of the browser in case a bug was found in an add-on. This would be complicated, if however the feature ws integrated in the browser itself.

So it is much easier and faster to fix an add-on, and to roll out the update to users. It is also a more efficient way to enable new features this way.

Mozilla is already working towards making Pocket’s transition from core feature to a system add-on, and says that this method could come in to play with any of its future partners.

Interestingly, Mozilla is also researching whether allowing Firefox users to disable or remove system add-ons, is actually of any use. I smell trouble here, as this suggests that the browser maker could be killing off the option. It wouldn’t come as a surprise though, considering that Firefox has been rolling onto a path of self-destruction recently.