Yesterday we released a very special update to the Pushbullet Firefox extension—our Firefox extension is now a WebExtension!
WebExtensions are a cross-browser system for building browser extensions that is compatible with Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. (Soon Microsoft’s Edge browser will support them too.)
Firefox added support for WebExtensions in Firefox 48 and this was terrific news for developers like us here at Pushbullet. Instead of having to manage completey separate exensions for Chrome and Firefox, we now have one WebExtension that supports both. This means Chrome and Firefox users will have the same features and high quality experience without us as developers having to do twice the work.
WebExtensions have been a work-in-progress from Mozilla that we at Pushbullet been watching closely since they were announced in the Fall last year. The WebExtensions team even set up a simple website to keep tabs on progress at arewewebextensionsyet.com. The release of Web Extensions in Firefox 48 is a huge accomplishment for them. From us here at Pushbullet to you all, congratulations!
So what’s new in the Firefox extension?
The most important part of today’s update is that our Firefox and Chrome extensions are now essentially identical in features, reliability, and interface now that they are both running the same code. This will also continue to be the case into the future which is very exciting!
You won’t notice many visual changes in the update–we had worked hard to make our Chrome and Firefox extensions as similar as we could already. Internally though, our new Firefox extension now has the benefit of many improvements focusing on speed and reliability (especially for SMS) along with some formerly Chrome-only features like right-clicking on images to push them to other devices.
What do you think about WebExtensions?
So, Firefox fans out there, were you aware of WebExtensions before our post? Also, what do you think about this shared extension system for Firefox, Chrome, and the other browsers? We’ll be watching the comments below.