A year back, we reported Firefox allows to launch of a website as a Site Specific Browser(SSB), Mozilla later, provided an option in Page Action Menu to add and run sites in App Mode. This resembles how you install and use apps or Progressive Web Apps in Chrome and Edge. Mozilla is planning to remove the SSB soon from Firefox which never appeared in UI by default in stable or pre-release versions.
Mozilla to remove SSB from Firefox
If you want to try out the feature in Firefox before it was gone
- Launch Firefox browser
- Visit about: config
- Search for ssb and change the following preference value to “true”.
- Restart Firefox
- Visit any website in the address bar, click on the Page Action menu, and select “Use this Site in App Mode”
- The site will open in a standalone window without toolbars of menus.
The company cites the following reasons for removing SSB from Firefox
- The feature is hidden behind pref in about: config
- It has multiple bugs
- costing time for Mozilla to triage bugs
The company’s Software Engineer Dave Townsend claims their user research found ” little to no perceived user benefit to the feature and so there’s no intent to continue development on it at this time.
“As the feature is costing us time in terms of bug triage and keeping it around is sending the wrong signal that this is a supported feature we are going to remove the feature from Firefox,” says Townsend.
As of writing this article, the SSB pref is still present in Firefox 84, you can take it for a spin.
Update: Mozilla has removed the Site Specific Browser feature from Firefox. The pref no longer exists and works when you manually create it. Worry not, you can still install PWAs in Firefox if you use this extension.
Are aware of Firefox’s SSB feature? Have you found it helpful? What’s your reaction to its removal in Firefox? Let us know in the comments below.