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.
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)
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