Mozilla is working on a new mobile browser for Android called Fenix. The new browser is available as a development build currently.
The current Firefox for Android is also available but Mozilla focuses development resources on the new Fenix browser; that's the main reason why recent Firefox for Android releases look more like extended support releases that fix bugs but don't introduce a whole lot of new features in the browser.
While it was clear for some time that Mozilla planed to replace the current Firefox for Android with the new Fenix browser, it was unclear how all of that would happen.
Questions that we had no answers for included for how long the legacy Firefox for Android would be supported, when we could expect a first stable release of Fenix, and how Mozilla planed to migrate users from the old mobile browser to the new.
A recently published support document highlights Mozilla's plans for the current Firefox for Android and also Fenix.
Mozilla's main idea is to maintain the legacy version of Firefox for Android until Fenix reaches migration readiness status. Firefox users on Android should be able to use the legacy version until Fenix is ready while Mozilla wants to minimize support costs.
To achieve that goal, Firefox for Android will move to the ESR branch after the release of Firefox 68. In other words: there won't be a Firefox 69 for Android that is based on the legacy version as it will use ESR versioning instead.
Timeline for legacy Firefox for Android
The legacy version of Firefox for Android won't receive new feature updates anymore when it moves to the ESR channel. The browser won't receive support for new web technologies anymore, nor will it receive any other feature updates. Bug fixes and security updates will be provided.
The releases will follow the Firefox desktop release schedule.
Mozilla has not specified a support end for the browser. It seems likely that the browser will reach end of support before mid 2020; Support ends when Fenix is ready and users of the legacy version of Firefox for Android can be migrated to the new mobile browser.
Mozilla wants to make it clear that the move to ESR won't give the browser the Enterprise attribute. The main reason why the legacy browser is moved to ESR is that it allows Mozilla to maintain it with minimal effort while work on Fenix continues.
The ESR version reaches end of life after Fenix is deemed migration ready by Mozilla.
Now You: Do you use Firefox for Android? (via Sören Hentzschel)Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.