Firefox 23 for Android launches with custom search engine support and RSS feed support

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 7, 2013
Updated • Aug 7, 2013
Apps, Google Android

Mozilla has united the release schedule of Firefox for desktop and mobile. Yesterday's release of Firefox 23 for desktop systems was accompanied by the release of Firefox 23 for Android. Existing users should have received the update to version 23 by now, while new users can download it from the official Google Play website.

The new version of Firefox for Android ships with several interesting new features that most mobile users will find useful. A long awaited change is the ability to change the search provider that you are using in Firefox. This is set to Google Search by default, but if you prefer to use a different provider, you had to enter the address of the search engine manually in the browser's address bar until now to do so (or quick access it via bookmarks or top sites).

Change search provider

To change the default mobile search provider in Firefox 23 do the following:

  1. Tap on the menu button of your phone or tablet.
  2. Select Tools > Add-ons from the context menu.
  3. Here you find several search engines now that you can enable or disable.

You will probably be disappointed by the initial selection, as you find Google, Wikipedia, Twitter and Amazon listed here but no other search engine. To add others, you need to head over to the Mycroft Project website to do so. Simply use the search to find the search engine that you want to add and tap on it to display the installation dialog. Once done, it becomes available as a search provider in the Tools > Add-ons menu.

firefox 23 add search provider firefox 23 custom search providers

You can long-tap search engines here to change the default search engine, and to disable or enable them.

Subscribe to RSS

If you are reading RSS feeds on your mobile device, you may find the following feature useful. You can long-tap on the address bar of a website to display a context menu with options to copy, share, or add it to the home screen of the browser. A new feature in Firefox 23 is the ability to subscribe to the page if it has an RSS feed.

Just hit the subscribe to page option in the menu, and select one of the available feeds afterwards that have been discovered. You then get the option to add it to iGoogle or My Yahoo.

Mozilla notes that the feature is rather basic right now, and it shows in the selection of default providers. Google's iGoogle for instance will be shut down on November 1, 2013.

firefox mobile rss feed firefox23 show page address url

Display URL in address bar

Firefox displays the page title by default in the address bar. If you prefer to see the address (url) there instead, you can now make a change in the settings to do so.

I personally prefer to have the url visible at all times as I can use it to verify that I'm on the right page, and not some phishing copy cat.

  1. Tap on the menu button of your phone.
  2. Select Settings from the context menu and scroll down until you find the title bar preference.
  3. Tap on it and switch to show page address.

Other modifications

Mozilla has implemented several other features in Firefox 23 for mobile. Here is a short list of what you can expect:

  • The address bar hides automatically once you start scrolling down. To bring it back, either scroll up again or press the menu button on your phone.
  • Articles on web pages can be added to your reading list by long-pressing the reader mode icon in the Firefox address bar. A short tap opens the current article in reader mode right away. Here you also find the new Serif / Sans Serif font toggle.
  • Firefox Health Report is now implemented (preliminary) in Firefox for Android. You can disable the feature with a tap on the menu button, and the selection of Settings > Data Choices.
  • The Awesome Screen, that is the screen that opens up when you start to type in the address bar, supports a switch to tab feature now. It displays open tabs in the results that you can switch to immediately. It remembers search terms as well now.

You can access the full Firefox 23 for mobile release notes here.

Are you using Firefox on your mobile device?


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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