Preview of Firefox's new Android browser available in Google Play Store

Preview of Firefox's new Android browser available in Google Play Store
Mozilla announced today that the new Firefox browser for Android, once code-named "Fenix," is now available from the Google Play Store under the title "Firefox Preview." The new browser is driven by Mozilla's "GeckoView" engine, a modified version of the one used on the Firefox desktop browser. The company says that a full-featured "polished" version will be available by the fall.

The company notes that most Android browsers use Google's Blink engine and that by using its own "GeckoView," the Firefox browser can be independent of Google. The company says that this means it can be more flexible in terms of privacy and security. More importantly, the new browser is twice as fast as the current Firefox browser available for Android users. And a new feature called collections will allow users to "save, organize, and share collections of sites."

Offering a preview version of its new Firefox browser for Android means that Mozilla wants feedback so that it can make the necessary changes before the official launch later this year. Right away we can answer your first question. Yes, there is a Dark Theme. There is also a toggle for "Desktop sites" and a built-in QR code reader (so you can delete those unneeded dedicated apps). And the new UI puts the most used elements (such as the tab button and the address bar) at the bottom of the screen.


We've been playing around with the browser and it would appear to be off to a good start. In fact, it does seem to be a bit faster than the current Firefox browser for Android. Speaking of which, when Firefox68 is released next month, only security patches and bug fixes will be made available to it in the future.

As we pointed out last month, Mozilla once said that "Fenix is not your parent's Android browser." And judging from the preview, it seems that they are exactly right.

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5 Comments

2. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

I've been using the preview and it's pretty good it gets updated regularly and is getting better and better.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The real problem with Firefox is web apps, and to be more specific PWAs. The installation and how it manages them needs major improvements. Not to mention running them all needs to be improved.

4. middlehead

Posts: 456; Member since: May 12, 2014

I don't care what anybody's usability studies say, I do not want the address bar or tab button at the bottom.

6. rouyal

Posts: 1582; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Address bar at the bottom? Yes please.

7. Krjal

Posts: 429; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

Can I tell it to display desktop sites by default or do I have to flick a switch every time I open a tab? It's really annoying on a tablet.

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