Firefox 81 for Android gets much needed Downloads interface

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 9, 2020
Updated • Sep 9, 2020
Firefox, Google Android

When Mozilla released the new Firefox web browser for Android, it appeared rushed in several regards and while users liked the improvements done to web compatibility and performance, others criticized Mozilla for various things including that only a few extensions are supported.

Mozilla is working on bringing (some) of the missing features back. The Nightly version will get full add-ons support soon, and a new downloads page is about to be released as well.

If you download files in the new mobile browser, you may have noticed that the browser lacked an interface to manage these. While it does display a notification when a download completes, once that is gone, there was no option to display that download from within the browser again.

The main menu does not list a link to a downloads page to manage these downloads, e.g. to open them from within Firefox or delete them from the device once they are no longer needed.  The only option that Firefox for Android users have at the moment is to use the Android file browser or third-party applications to access downloaded files.

Mozilla plans to resolve the oversight in the upcoming Firefox 81 Stable for Google's Android operating system. Once updated, Firefox users may access a Downloads link in the main menu that leads directly to all downloads made with the mobile browser.

firefox 81 downloads

Firefox lists all downloads on the page and displays filenames and sizes. Information such as the download date or the site the file was downloaded from is missing in Firefox 81.

While downloads are listed on the page, options to interact with downloads in any way are missing, at least in Firefox 82 Beta at the time of writing.  A tap, or double-tap does not open the download on Android, and a long-tap does nothing either.

It is quite possible that Mozilla will introduce the missing functionality before the Stable channel promotion of Firefox 81, but for now, all you get is the list of downloads when you open the downloads listing.

The current state of the downloads page does not help users much as it provides no options to interact with the downloads. While it provides users with a list of file names, it is still necessary at this point to use a file manager or other tools to open or delete these from the system.

Closing Words

The introduction of a dedicated page for downloads is a step in the right direction but the current implementation, as seen in Firefox beta, lacks functionality. Firefox 81 will be released on September 22, 2020.

Firefox 81 for Android gets much needed Downloads interface
Article Name
Firefox 81 for Android gets much needed Downloads interface
Firefox 81 for Android, the next stable version of the web browser for the mobile operating system, gets a dedicated downloads page.
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  1. Anonymous said on September 15, 2020 at 9:50 am

    This comment section quickly degrades to general issues mozilla browser discussion . My impression is they have but entirely ignored and muted their users when in comes to the development of Firefox and force half baked questionable changes to this program.

    i will never use this browser as it now stands ,firefox 80 81 is a mess ,if i didn’t know it was firefox i wouldn’t even bother to keep this program in my phone for more than a minute..
    Now I’m stuck with firefox 68 nightly for Android were everything works.
    i can not do my job and tasks any more is that an improvement ?
    All the usefull addon stuff are gone ,not there,adios amigos,this is frustrating.
    No x button to stop the loading of a page why removed ,often some link is triggered now i have to wait it loading ,no the back button doesn’t always respond to stop it.
    No bookmarklets ? why i can’t acces my bookmarks by touching the url bar ,no now we must go to an independent new bookmarks tab that doesn’t understand from where and why it was called upon and return the bookmarlet script.
    No saving and manipulating pages with addons like webscrapbook,singlefiileZ,save as ebook,pageHacker,link gopher,extract links,save all images,redirector,script and css injectors,stylus
    No videos extraction ,no hls video extraction,no equalizer,no video speed change, addons for media manipulation not supported.
    if i wanted a useless browser for Android i would use Chrome or Brave.
    Eich has some willing vision to firefox fix Brave when time comes .
    I was forced to install nightly kiwi browser for Android from github to have addon support and have access to functionality lost to firefox with fenix 80 plus releases.
    I can not understand how a company chose to force a alpha testing baked software with lowest capabilities to their users driving away their core marketing mozilla strength, the power user and people trying to do their needed jobs with it .
    The new fenix has only 30% of the features firefox had, is that called going forward,is that evolution ?

    1. Iron Heart said on September 16, 2020 at 12:07 pm


      I think Mozilla’s current course is driving people away and doesn’t exactly help with the overall satisfaction with the platform. You have pointed out numerous issues yourself; why they pushed this out so quickly, no idea. Breaking or removing the majority of formerly available and working features is not the way to keep users.

      PS: Brave and Vivaldi are both working on extension support, they do realize that people wnat this on Android. So Kiwi soon won’t be alone anymore in that particular field.

      1. Anonymous said on September 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

        Hi lion heart
        i am the owner of the previous comment that you replied.Please don’t use my post here to forward your Brave agenta.Brave can not do any of this things that firefox nightly for Android could do.You probably have no advanced browsing and hacking and editing needs from your Browser thus you use Brave for Android as is.
        My post was a cry to mozilla ears to give us back our btowser.

  2. Hulusi Akar said on September 10, 2020 at 4:25 am

    The download improvement is a must. Mozilla should also fix the tab related bugs. I wonder how many people (except us some diehard fans) use Firefox for Android judging it’s current condition.
    Maybe the return of the extension support will be able to save Firefox for Android..

    1. m3city said on September 10, 2020 at 8:50 am

      I use it on daily basis. It works, shows webpages in multiple tabs.

  3. Anonymous said on September 9, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    No. No. No. Hamburger menu, tabs on top, “better” address bar and now this. Fortunately I have ESR for a while and other browsers.

    1. some1 said on September 10, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Is there a separate ESR version for Android? or you just don’t let it update?

      1. Anonymous said on September 10, 2020 at 8:59 pm

        I am sorry. I didn’t look the topic “Firefox 81 for Android” carefully.

  4. OHS said on September 9, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    This is welcome news. I use FF as my main browser on Android, and this has been a small irritation. Good to hear there will be full support for extensions too!

  5. Pedro said on September 9, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Yay!!! I started using this the minute it became available. I knew it was not feature complete when they released it but I really wanted to move anyway.
    The only extension that I truly miss is Leechblock NG.

    Wish they implemented pull-down to refresh though.

    1. Yuliya said on September 9, 2020 at 9:54 pm

      god, i wish i could disable pull-down to refresh system-wide :D

  6. ShintoPlasm said on September 9, 2020 at 9:01 am

    The current state of FF for Android is woeful. Considering how recently they released v79, could they not have put in a bit more effort, add all these missing features (which are on the roadmap anyway) and then release a more well-rounded product?

    1. my name jeff said on September 10, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      pls, someone help me, what “fake news” iron heart posted?

    2. ULBoom said on September 9, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      They fired a lot of employees recently, citing lack of leadership as one cause. In my experience with that, being one of those who remained, for a long time everyone scrambles like cockroaches when a light is switched on.

      “Release stuff” becomes the mission statement, results are awful, everyone knows it and many look for a way out.

      Suddenly, management has a clear, achievable vision? Nope.

    3. Iron Heart said on September 9, 2020 at 9:52 am


      No, obviously not. Mozilla shooting itself in the foot is good, though. *** [Editor: removed, please stop making these claims]

      1. Iron Heart said on September 10, 2020 at 7:55 am

        @Martin Brinkmann

        In addition to my last posts that you never published for reasons I don’t understand (surely they have nothing to do with your official guidelines), remember that Firefox for Android comes with built-in trackers (non-removable). Sure, not spyware at all… I mean, there is an option that says they are selling marketing data to Leanplum, and it’s active by default… But not spyware at all, no… /s

        Sure thing, Martin. I know that you will not exit your diva mode and post this all of a sudden, because that would require you to judge my posts independently and fairly, which I know you are incapable of. But anyway, suffices to say that you are clearly wrong here and consequently had little reason to block my posts.

      2. Anonymous said on September 9, 2020 at 10:18 pm

        Thank you, @Editor! Too much fake news out there

      3. Iron Heart said on September 10, 2020 at 7:56 am


        Judging something someone said without knowing exactly what was said is surely a sign of wisdom.

      4. Iron Heart said on September 10, 2020 at 7:47 am


        Your unwillingness to deal with other opinions is obvious. I didn’t even spread “fake news” (How can you make these claims without knowing what I said even?). Similarly, there is no “hate speech”, either. There is only speech, and you are either able to categorize it yourself, i.e. using your brain, or you need a ministry of truth filtering it and labeling it for you. Take a guess to which group you belong. The sorry state of society in a nutshell.

      5. Iron Heart said on September 10, 2020 at 7:42 am


        Except that it wasn’t “fake news”. Also, claiming that something I said is “fake news” without knowing what it is sure seems very wise… Not.

      6. T J said on September 10, 2020 at 12:51 pm

        @Iron Heart

        You just can not help yourself: every time there is an article about Firefox in you jump. You may not realise that your comments are aggressive in as much as you always attack other people for their comments ( ie Martin Brinkmann, Anonymous. ) because they do not agree with your view of the browser world. Many of the comments you post in other Firefox articles published in ghacks are so long and boring that, for me, they are TL;DR.

        We are all aware of how much you love Brave. Maybe you should change your handle to Lion Heart in honour of the Brave logo !

        Finally, you complain about your posts being edited / unpublished. If I was the editor of ghacks, I would remove every post you make.

        If they were, we might get a much more balanced comments section as other posters would no longer worry about your aggressive responses to their remarks about other browsers.

        In conclusion, I recommend reading the article below for those who prefer a balanced view:

        THe neocities article may be outdated, but the contents still hold true.

      7. Iron Heart said on September 11, 2020 at 9:42 am

        @T J

        No, I didn’t “attack” Martin or Anonymous because they disagreed with me on any topic, I rightfully complained about my posts getting deleted based on nothing.

        > Many of the comments you post in other Firefox articles published in ghacks are so long and boring that, for me, they are TL;DR.

        Then don’t read them. Problem solved.

        > We are all aware of how much you love Brave. Maybe you should change your handle to Lion Heart in honour of the Brave logo !

        I like it, but it’s just a tool. If it did shady stuff like my previous browser did, I’d drop it just as fast. Don’t be silly.

        > Finally, you complain about your posts being edited / unpublished. If I was the editor of ghacks, I would remove every post you make.

        Luckily you are not the gHacks moderator. There are enough heavily censored comment sections out there, no need for yet another one.

        By the way, differing opinions should be tolerated, I have to tolerate your stuff as well after all, except I don’t waste my time complaining. There is also no need to be afraid of me as you claim, except when your comment consists of nonsense, then you should be. In any other case I can be reasoned with.

        > In conclusion, I recommend reading the article below for those who prefer a balanced view:

        No, the article is frankly nonsense, and not only the one about Brave, virtually all articles on this website are just nonsense. For example, the author (and by extension, you) still publishes fake news about Brave, they never whitelisted Facebook or Twitter “trackers”. What they did was to whitelist a very limited number of JS libraries without which those websites would simply break – and breaking Facebook and Twitter websites on a browser that means to go mainstream is not smart, it’s dumb. Notwithstanding the fact that other browsers aren’t blocking those libraries either.

        The rest is just plain tinfoil hat level stuff. Automatic updates? Not privacy-related and all browsers do that for security reasons. Google as default? Depends on region, easy to change in the setting, in my country DuckDuckGo was the default. Brave uses a tracking script for user counting on their website? What does that have to do with the browser, the website is not part of the browser as well. Crash reports? Not privacy-related and can be disabled.

        Fake news debunked, took me two minutes. By the way, according to this blatant fake news website Firefox is also spyware, and the reasons are partially BS as well just like in the case of Brave, you generously overlooked that fact it seems:

        Spare me further comments of yours, I won’t bother to reply. Your dislike for me and for Brave, though not necessarily in that order, is well known around here. This taints your comments with one-sidedness.

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