Mozilla plans to run a Shield study soon in Firefox to gather data on user interest in regards to integrating cloud storage services in Firefox’s downloads panel.
Many Internet users have access to cloud storage; those with Google or Microsoft accounts have it, and services like Dropbox ensure that anyone may sign-up for cloud storage to upload files to the Internet to sync it between devices, access it online, or share it.
While you may use web browsers to access cloud storage, none offer any form of native integration of cloud storage services.
Services created extensions in the past, for instance Dropbox for Gmail for Chrome, which integrate these services into browsers.
Mozilla’s planned Shield study for the Firefox web browser is an attempt to find out whether users of the browser would like to have certain cloud storage services integrated into the browser in some regards.
The study is delivered as a WebExtension that adds options to Firefox’s downloads panel to move downloads to the local cloud storage folder.
It is an opt-in study which means that Firefox users need to explicitly give consent to join the study. The main requirement for the study is that users need to have supported cloud sync software installed on the device Firefox runs on.
The context menu that Firefox displays when you right-click on downloads in the downloads panel has a new “move to” option. You may use it to move the download to cloud storage services installed on the machine, or to move it back to the local folder depending on where the download is located at the time.
Firefox users may set the folder of the cloud storage provider as the default in Firefox next to that so that downloads are saved to that folder automatically from that moment on.
I have to admit that I don’t see a real benefit to the integration as you can configure Firefox right now to save all or some downloads to cloud storage folders already. The integration may make it easier for users to move downloaded files to the cloud storage folder on the device though; Firefox users who know where the folder is located can move any downloaded file manually to the folder either.
That’s my personal view on this, however; Mozilla runs the study to find out whether interest is there and that is definitely better than integrating a new feature in Firefox without knowing if a large enough part of the userbase wants or needs it.
You can follow the bug here. The study is not the only download related change in Firefox. The browser will highlight the most recent download soon on the New Tab Page.