Kiwi Browser is an Android web browser that launched about a year ago. It’s based on Google’s open source Chromium project, but includes a built-in ad blocker, a notification blocker, a night mode option, and support for background playback for YouTube and other websites, among other things.
And the latest version of Kiwi brings support for Google Chrome extensions. That’s something even Google’s official Chrome app for android lacks.
Note that not every Chrome extension will work — any that use x86 code probably won’t load. But many extensions that change the behavior of the browser (or of websites you visit) should work.
According to xda-developers, the easiest way to install Chrome extensions is to:
- Enable developer mode by typing chrome://extensions in the address bar and then flipping the toggle.
- Switch to desktop mode.
- Visit the Chrome Web Store.
- Find the extension you want and then install it.
If, for some reason, you don’t want to enable desktop mode, you can also download extensions in the .CRX format, change the name to .ZIP, unpack the archive to a folder, and then use Kiwi’s “load unpacked extension” option, but that seems like a pain in the behind and you’ll need to install a few extra apps to do it.
The updated version of the Kiwi Browser should be available in the Google Play Store soon, but it’s available exclusively from the xda-developers’ XDA Labs for the first 24 hours.
Kiwi isn’t the first mobile browser to support extensions. Mozilla’s Firefox browser for Android has long supported many of the extensions that work with the desktop version of that browser. And Russian search engine Yandex has a browser already supports Chrome extensions.