For some time now, Mozilla has been working on an entirely new design, known as ‘Fenix,’ for the Android version of its Firefox browser. The upgraded application offers a lot of changes for the better, but it also messes with Mozilla’s extension support.
Firefox’s stable channel on the Google Play Store jumps from version 68 to version 79 with this update, which basically includes a year’s worth of updates in a single go. The updated version uses the same codebase as the beta variants of Firefox on Android, as well as delivering a redesigned user interface.
What’s New in Firefox for Android
All the elements in the browser have a more modern design, as well as some great quality-of-changes. For instance, the address bar can now be placed at the bottom of the display, which is a more convenient location for many users.
The official changelog for this new update also explains everything else that’s new in the Firefox browser. Firstly, it has a New Tabs Tray, the option to carry out voice searches from the address bar, more add-on support, and the enhanced tracking protection is set to ‘Strict’ by default. In addition, the icon now appears in the address bar when Reader mode is available. You can also now sort your logins by name or last-used date.
There are a lot of good features here, but one big negative is extension support. As Android Police says, this feature receives a significant downgrade. While Firefox version 68 supported thousands of extensions, the 79 version only backs up a few, which we listed below.
On the good side of things, this should be addressed over time as developers are able to update their extensions or add-ons list.
- uBlock Origin
- Dark Reader
- HTTPS Everywhere
- Privacy Badger
- NoScript Security Suite
- Search by Image
- YouTube High Definition
- Privacy Possum
We should also note that this new Firefox redesign is not available for all Android users just yet. As TechDows mentions, only a few regions are supported until now: SA, UA, NZ, BG, NO, PH. However, here’s the option to sideload the update if you’re feeling impatient.
Now Available in Europe
Mozilla has today officially announced this redesign, detailing in a blog post that the update will be available widely in Europe starting with today, August 25th. Then, on August 27th, U.S. users will get the chance to get the update of the revamped Firefox browser for Android.
“Big news for mobile: as of today, Firefox for Android users in Europe will find an entirely redesigned interface and a fast and secure mobile browser that was overhauled down to the core. Users in North America will receive the update on August 27th. Like we did with our “Firefox Quantum“ desktop browser revamp, we’re calling this release “Firefox Daylight,” as it marks a new beginning for our Android browser. Included with this new mobile experience are lots of innovative features, an improved user experience with new customization options, and some massive changes under the hood. And we couldn’t be more excited to share it,” the announcing post says.