An early look at Firefox Preview 3.0 for Android - gHacks Tech News

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An early look at Firefox Preview 3.0 for Android

Mozilla released the first beta version of Firefox Preview 3.0 on the project's GitHub home. The beta, which is only available on GitHub and not on Google Play, upgrades the mobile browser for Android to version 3.0.

Firefox users who want to test the new browser using a version from Google Play may download the Nightly version instead. Note that Nightly versions are development builds that may be unstable.

Mozilla started to work on Firefox Preview, initially known as Fenix, some time ago. We covered the first public release of Firefox Preview in 2019 and the launch on Google Play.

The organization plans to replace the current version of Firefox for Android with Firefox Preview (and rename Firefox Preview to just Firefox once that is done).

firefox preview 3.0

Firefox Preview 2.0 was released some time ago. The version, available on Google Play and GitHub, introduced support for a number of features including send tab to other device, more browsing data clearing controls, or options to add website shortcuts and a search widget to the Home screen of the device.

Firefox Preview 3.0 introduces major new features that extend the functionality significantly. The new version includes options to add search engines manually to the Firefox browser, control autoplay behavior, and adds better enhanced tracking protection and syncing controls.

  • Enhanced Tracking Protection improvements: switch between standard and strict protection settings and better manage the feature.
  • Open links in private tabs: option to open any link in a private tab in Firefox Preview. (tap on the link you want to open, select Firefox Preview, pick always).
  • Clear browsing data on exist: a new Setting to clear browsing data on exit is available in Firefox Preview 3.0. Previously, it was only possible to clear the data manually (only works when you select the quit option from the menu).
  • Choose what to sync: currently, you may select Bookmarks or History only.
  • Option to control media autoplay: was not available in the beta version that I used.
  • List and manage downloads.
  • Ability to add search engines manually.
  • Put the navigation bar at the top or bottom of the browser interface.
  • Enforce zoom on all websites.

The browser lacks add-on support at the time but Mozilla promised that Firefox Preview would support extensions after all. Support for some extensions is expected to become available in the first half of 2020.

Closing Words

Firefox Preview is improving with every release but that is usually the case before the first final release of a product. Mozilla wants to ensure that all major features of the current Firefox version for Android are supported by the upcoming browser before users are switched over to the new browser.

Now You: What is your take on Firefox Preview? Anything you'd like to see supported?

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An early look at Firefox Preview 3.0 for Android
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An early look at Firefox Preview 3.0 for Android
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This is a first look at Firefox Preview 3.0 for Google's Android operating system.
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Comments

  1. davinci said on November 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm
    Reply

    It’ll be good, if you mention that GitHub link for testing the latest Firefox beta.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 28, 2019 at 9:13 pm
      Reply

      Sure, added the link to the article. Here it is: https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/releases

  2. Herman Cost said on November 28, 2019 at 3:47 pm
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    This is certainly a major improvement from Chrome in every area (privacy, add-ons, ease of operation, etc.). I use Apple products for my mobile devices, but when this becomes available for IOS, I’ll delete Chrome from my phone and iPad.

    1. Lenora Goff said on November 28, 2019 at 9:12 pm
      Reply

      I don’t see this getting onto iOS. There is a rule that states that you can’t use a different rendering engine than the one provided by Apple. Even Chrome is just a UI on top of Safari on iOS.

    2. ShintoPlasm said on November 29, 2019 at 10:40 am
      Reply

      There is zero connection between Firefox apps on Android and those on iOS. Separate development streams, different engine. Don’t hold your breath for this to ever arrive on iOS… Having said that, Firefox for iOS is actually pretty good in its own right.

  3. Sören Hentzschel said on November 28, 2019 at 4:51 pm
    Reply

    > Mozilla released the first beta version of Firefox Preview 3.0 on the project’s GitHub home.

    Yes, 3 weeks (!) ago. ;-) And it doesn’t contain some of the features you mention and other features were already part of previous 2.x releases. It’s the same as with the “what’s new” page of 2.0 – it contains features of previous 1.x releases because “what’s new” will be released only for x.0 versions. So it’s not really “an early look at Firefox Preview 3.0”, it’s more a SUMO page written off. You should never trust a “release notes” page before the release. ;-)

  4. Windows7ESU_already_bypassed_WinkWink said on November 28, 2019 at 5:39 pm
    Reply

    > Anything you’d like to see supported?

    Android 4.4 KitKat, if it doesn’t support that then sorry but i’ll stick with Brave browser which apparently still supports this old Android OS
    Reminder that as of Oct 2019, 2.36% of Android devices run KitKat, whereas the newer 5.0 Lollipop only 2.78%. market share or technical reasons is not an excuse not to support 4.4 KitKat.

    1. Lenora Goff said on November 28, 2019 at 9:19 pm
      Reply

      Lowering the amount of overhead is actually a good reason to do it. Reminder that worldwide statistics for Android is not distribution of users for this specific app.

    2. Anonymous said on November 29, 2019 at 4:14 am
      Reply

      nyeh…i dont think so, i think i read some stuff about there major change or something between android 4.4 and older vs 5.0 & up that make a lot of old app/game died(as in no longer can run on newer android version, it will just straight up crashed)…for example game like zenonia 3/4/5 but i dont remember exactly what i read or where i read it(been few year since then). so there probably good enough reason to drop android 4 and below at this point. btw correct me if im wrong coz this might wrong or litterally what i just said might doesnt affect app like firefox, maybe just game…

  5. Greg said on November 29, 2019 at 5:48 am
    Reply

    no point hanging out for 3.0 if there’s no Add-on support in it , otherwise its a Crap release IMO

  6. Allwynd said on November 29, 2019 at 7:56 am
    Reply

    If there is no extension support, I don’t care. Kiwi browser is the king of Android browsers as it allows you to install any extension from the Chrome Web Store.

    Nothing else to add.

    1. Amonymous said on November 29, 2019 at 10:45 am
      Reply

      Eh, Kiwi has a weird issue with using Chrome extensions in Private Mode. Currently normal Firefox for Android is better IMO, especially the ability to load in multiple search engines.

      1. Allwynd said on November 30, 2019 at 4:26 pm
        Reply

        @Amonymous

        and what issue is that exactly? I’ve been using Kiwi for months and I occasionally spend time in Private Mode and I haven’t noticed any issues.

        The only two extensions I have installed are:

        – Nano Adblocker
        – Nano Defender

      2. Allwynd said on November 30, 2019 at 4:29 pm
        Reply

        @Amonymous

        Also I forgot to mention, Firefox is as slow as a snail, it’s so bloated and cluttered with all kinds of useless things.

        No wonder they are making Firefox Preview – it’s going to replace the current Firefox, because it’s so slow and bloated and they don’t even have a clue how to fix it at this point so they are just starting over… Firefox and Mozilla have been a pathetic joke ever since they released Firefox 4.0 for PC.

      3. ShintoPlasm said on November 30, 2019 at 8:02 pm
        Reply

        @Allwynd: I honestly don’t understand why that is a reason for complaint. Fine, Mozilla has belatedly realised that their current Android is rubbish. Agree with you that it is. But why complain when they build up something that is obviously better and faster, from scratch, free from old legacy code? Surely that’s a good thing?

  7. Anon said on November 29, 2019 at 9:02 am
    Reply

    No night mode, no dice. Yes, there is a dark theme, but I meant something like is in Kiwi. You just click a switch and the website goes dark, I love this feature and it keeps me from using other mobile browsers.

  8. Grinch said on November 30, 2019 at 4:01 pm
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    Where’s the Navigation/toolbar option? Appears to be missing in this release!

  9. CD said on November 30, 2019 at 10:14 pm
    Reply

    I still wish it didn’t open a new tab everytime you open a new bookmark. Why can’t it just load the new bookmark on the same tab?

    1. ShintoPlasm said on December 1, 2019 at 9:53 am
      Reply

      I actually prefer this behaviour… To each their own, I guess?

  10. Wally said on December 2, 2019 at 5:10 am
    Reply

    I installed “Adblock Plus” and “Google search link fix”.

  11. jimmy p said on December 3, 2019 at 8:10 am
    Reply

    What in the world were they thinking saying no addons? Firefox mobile is amazing for its ability to use addons. Glad it sounds like they (may have) come around

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