PSA: Sync account changes in the pipeline

Until now, if you’ve had more than one channel of Firefox installed on your Android device, you’ve experienced some restrictions when using Sync. We’ve been working to improve this situation, and just landed the first change to this end (Bug 772645).
Users with accounts set up for Firefox Beta or the release version of Firefox on Android should be utterly unaffected, and can stop reading now!

Bug 772645 splits the existing “Firefox Sync” account type into three: one for Beta and Release, one for Aurora and Nightly, and one for developer builds. These divisions align with the different Android shared user IDs for each channel. (This means that Beta and Release will eventually share Sync accounts, as will Aurora and Nightly.)

As of this week you’ll be able to have one Nightly and one of Aurora/Beta/Release set up and syncing on your device at the same time.

When it merges to Aurora, you’ll be able to have either Nightly or Aurora, and either Beta or Release, because Aurora’s type will change to match Nightly.

Developer builds taken from mozilla-central should now be able to be installed and configured for Sync entirely separately from Aurora/Beta/Release/Nightly, which should make developers happy!

Here’s where you might have to take action.

If you currently have Nightly as your syncing Firefox, you will need to set up Sync again after upgrading. The account will disappear on upgrade.

If you wish to avoid this, you can install one of the other channels first, and it will “steal” the existing Sync account when you upgrade Nightly. There is no way for you to turn your previous settings into a Nightly account.

The exact same steps will apply when Aurora bumps to version 17 — your Aurora account type will go away, and you’ll need to pre-emptively switch to Beta or Release to keep it, or just set up Sync again.

Pardon our dust, but this turned out to be the sanest (and only?) road forward.

Props go to Nick Alexander for pushing hard on this; he did — as always — excellent and elegant work.

Any questions, please do let us know. There might well be hiccups as this bounces down the track, but we’ll do our best to help.