Mozilla adds Firefox Search to Android

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 4, 2014

Mozilla has added a new Firefox Search option to Nightly versions of the mobile browser. From Firefox 34 on, all users of the browser will have access to those features.

When you swipe from the bottom of the screen up on Android devices running recent versions of the operating systems, an option to launch Google Now comes up.

If you are running Firefox 34 on Android you will notice that another option has been added to the feature: Firefox Search.

On first run, you will be asked if you want to run Google Now or Firefox Search, with options to make the selection only for this time or permanently.

Selecting Google will launch Google Now on the device whereas the selection of Nightly Search will load a -- basic -- interface that can be used to search on the Internet.

All you can do here at the time of writing is to enter a search term to run a search on Yahoo, or to select one of the previous search terms to run the search again on the system.

There is also a button at the the bottom of the screen which you can use to remove the search history from the device.

While the feature is rather limited at the time of writing, it is the underlying plan of Mozilla that is interesting. Search will remain the main focus but instead of being as limited as Google Now, which only displays results maintained by one company, choice and additional functionality will be added to the feature.

Besides options to select different search providers, Firefox Search will also support rich results in form of cards displayed on the screen similar to how Google Now is presenting information to the user.

News about this new feature emerged on June 1, 2014 first and you can check out the  original article to find out more about it.

That's not all though that Mozilla has added to Firefox 34. There is also a new Firefox Search widget that you can add to the Android homescreen.

You can use it to run a search using Firefox Search directly from there, and to open a new tab in the browser.

Closing Words

The first implementation is basic, but that is to be expected, especially since it was launched in a Nightly version of the browser.

Mozilla has time to improve it in future releases and judging by the plans, that is exactly what it will do to make it better and usable.

While it is unlikely that this will become a full-blown Google Now rival, it may improve searching on Android all in all, especially since it is also available as a widget and not only when Firefox is open. (via Sören)

Mozilla adds Firefox Search to Android
Article Name
Mozilla adds Firefox Search to Android
Firefox Search is a new feature for Android with the underlying goal to improve search on Android and make it vendor-independent.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Josh said on November 20, 2014 at 4:28 am

    OK, bug identified!
    I am on nightly and had previously set DDG as my default and deleted all other search engines. I went back into the search options in Firefox mobile and reset to defaults then reset DDG as my default and deleted the others now its working with DDG as my search preview in the Firefox search.


  2. Josh said on November 20, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Hmm, thanks but I think I’m missing something. Nightly is set to DDG but Firefox search seems fixed on Yahoo.
    Thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on November 20, 2014 at 3:52 am

      Do you use the latest Nightly? It works for me, I tested with DuckDuckGo a few minutes ago.

  3. Josh said on November 19, 2014 at 5:41 am

    Is there an about: conf hint on changing the engine? I’d prefer DDG if possible? Thanks!

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on November 20, 2014 at 3:37 am

      You can change the search engine without about:config, just change the default search engine in Firefox, the same search engine will be used in Firefox Search.

  4. WingTillDie said on August 15, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Fails because it uses yahoo
    It should be search engines like duckduckgo or symbolhound
    Not yahoo by bing by MICROSOFT

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on August 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      You can switch the search engine. Firefox Search is still in development.

  5. Trebuchette said on August 6, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Um, well ALRIGHT! *high five* FINALLY Mozilla making a move against Google Now!

    (We’ll have to see if our searches go to Google first, of course — I’m still iffy on Mozilla’s fat Google paycheck — but it might be worth it to support Mozilla’s fat nightly browser on the phone IFF they’re making a real move. :D )

    (I use something else as the go to option on the phones already, not moto voice or Google Now, but I’m willing to try this. …as long as any queries aren’t shot over to Google and connected with my phone.)

  6. Andrew said on August 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Wow, that widget is ugly…

    1. Sören Hentzschel said on August 7, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Andrew, it’s not the final design of the widget. The next nightly version should have a new widget design (bug 1046419 on Bugzilla).

    2. Rightery said on August 5, 2014 at 1:24 am

      You know, that would be considered constructive…if you just said why. Care to expand on that?

      1. Andrew said on August 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

        but it’s not… it’s merely an opinion :)

        Anyway, the widget has a search bubble coming from the left side, a “new tab” bubble coming from the right side and a icon smack dab in the middle of it. it looks completely out of place and thrown together.

        It seems to take up 4 horizontal blocks already, it should be using that space to give a cleaner look. Take for example the google search bar at the top. Now if instead they had a similar layout like the google search bar, but maybe with a + block on one end for the new tab, it would look much cleaner, use the space better both functionally and visually and also fit Google’s new theme direction.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.