Firefox 82 for Android is now available

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 1, 2020
Firefox, Google Android

It took a bit longer this time to release the Firefox 82 update for Android systems, but it is finally here. Firefox 82.1.1 is now available via Google Play and should auto-update on devices that have previous versions of the browser installed.

Firefox 82 introduces a number of improvements including support for two additional add-ons, privacy enhancements, and more.

One of the main changes from a privacy perspective is that Firefox 82 is the first Android version that supports Redirect Tracking protection. The desktop version of Firefox supports the feature since version 79. Basically, what it does is prevent sites from adding tracking domains to a redirect chain to ensure that cookies can be planted on the user's device. Opening a link on Site A that points to Site Z, would redirect the request through Site T, a process that is mostly invisible to the user.

firefox 82 android

Firefox for Android deletes cookies and website data from known tracking sites every 24 hours by default. The deletion of the data prevents the tracking from being effective in creating profiles of the user and habits. The only exception to the rule is the following one: if a user has visited a site manually in the past 30 days, its content is not deleted by the protection.

Firefox 82 for Android supports two new add-ons; not a lot considering that Nightly got support for all add-ons recently (of which not all are working, but still). The two new add-ons in question are Google Search Fixer and Video Background Play Fix. Firefox 82 for Android supports a total of 11 add-ons currently. The upcoming Firefox 83 will increase support by another seven extensions.

Google Search Fixer ensures that Google is serving the same content to Firefox on its Google Search site that it is serving to its Chrome web browser.

Video Background Play Fix fixes video background playback on some sites by modifying certain parameters on these sites.

The third major change in Firefox 82 for Android introduces a list of recently closed tabs in the Firefox History. Firefox users may undo the closing of tabs in the first five seconds of closing it, but that may not be enough at times. Select Menu > History and there the "recently closed tabs" option to see the last ten tabs closed in the mobile browser.

The new Firefox version includes a number of smaller changes next to the ones mentioned already:

  • Support for opening links from third-party apps improved.
  • Manually added links to the Top sites are now highlighted specifically.
  • Bookmark folders are listed at the beginning of the bookmarks.
  • Synchronized tabs are highlighted when typing in the browser's address bar.
  • Resolved an issue that displayed two instances of Firefox on Android 11 when checking opened apps.
  • Custom search engines are shown again.

Now You: have you tried Firefox for Android recently? What is your take on the browser? (via Sören Hentzschel)

Firefox 82 for Android is now available
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Firefox 82 for Android is now available
Firefox 82.1.1 is now available via Google Play and should auto-update on devices that have previous versions of the browser installed.
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  1. Jess said on November 3, 2020 at 11:40 am

    I wish Mozilla would work on allowing the Bitwarden addon to work again.

    It is very disappointing how they keep redeveloping their Android browser and launching it broken/incomplete/limited more times than they change their underwear.

    Also I wish they would make the “isolation” config options more stable on Android because these seem to cause crashing.

    Just want an actually secure browser for Android.

  2. Iron Heart said on November 2, 2020 at 9:04 am

    ** Removed [Editor: please stay on topic]

    1. Iron Heart said on November 2, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      *** Removed [Editor: please stay on topic]

  3. AddonsGuy said on November 2, 2020 at 1:58 am

    Sticking to 68 as I have a good amount of addons + scripts being used with Tampermonkey.

    1. kirk said on November 14, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Try IceRaven. Its a fork of the new Firefox with support for Tampermonkey.

      1. querty said on November 15, 2020 at 4:59 am

        Does it have Save Pag as PDF etc. function like pre 80 does? I heard it was removed?

  4. Anonymous said on November 2, 2020 at 1:39 am

    While it is time to choose my mobile browser, I am beginning to question the commitment of the Mozilla Foundation to its claimed fight againt racism, for democracy and openness. To take an example, on the one hand, I read this:

    “The New York Times Admits Key Falsehoods That Drove Last Year’s Coup in Bolivia: Falsehoods Peddled by the U.S., Its Media, and the Times
    The U.S. government and its media once again help destroy a thriving Latin American democracy.”

    “Once he fled, Bolivia’s first-ever president from the country’s Indigenous population was replaced by a little-known, white, far-right senator, Jeanine Áñez, from the country’s minority European-descendent, Christian, wealthy region.”

    (the author was resigned recently)

    On the other hand, I read on the Mozilla blog, “How to avoid online disinformation”, “not to trust” and “to report” social media accounts and comments

    “that are regularly irritated by established media or other trusted actors”

    From the Intercept article:

    “But as usual, the two news outlets most influential in disseminating and ratifying false anti-democratic claims from the U.S. government were the Washington Post and — though they neglected to mention it in their article yesterday on the debunked OAS findings — the New York Times itself”

    What did the Mozilla Foundation do before for those two “trusted actors” ?

    “Mozilla announces a partnership with The New York Times, The Washington Post and Knight Foundation for a new online community platform.”

    What’s that about ?

    “For moderators
    Effective and easy to use moderation tools
    A full suite of tools helps moderators easily identify disruptive comments and surface the best submissions, supported by smart AI technology.”

    Then, as might maybe be used against those suggesting on Youtube that US imperialism is acting nefariously against the people of the world like those of Bolivia and Venezuela, Mozilla developed an add-on to report to them among other things “anti-american propaganda”:
    (paragraph 08)

    Luckily Mozilla Pocket advises “fact checking” sites that will dispel lies, the first listed one here being

    What do they have to say about, say, Venezuela ?

    “Dubious viral posts on Facebook accuse Democrats of supporting repressive regimes around the world”
    “But it’s baseless to say that “Democrats” — which implies most, if not all — “stood with Maduro.””

    For Mozilla sanctioned fact checkers and newspapers, the leftist kinds of Morales and Maduro are repressive regimes, which in turn means that the CIA-friendly far-right (racist) putschist kinds that aim to replace them are the (minorities respecting) democracy.

    So what is Mozilla Pocket’s stance on the CIA ? They recommend them as fact checkers:

    “I’m a Former CIA Analyst Trained To Spot Fake News. Here’s How You Can Do It, Too.”

    “As an intelligence analyst, I worked in a world where countries often used covert action against each other to influence events, outcomes and policies”

    (yes, we just alluded to that)

    “As I write in my new book, “True or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News,” I was trained to comb through massive amounts of information and root out the fact from the fiction to keep policymakers informed”

    With trusted actors like Mozilla and the CIA, with US established media like the NY Times and the Washington Post, with their trustworthy recommended fact checkers like, the days of racism, disinformation and dictatorships are counted. Just like Mozilla helps Google make the world a more privacy respecting place, Mozilla helps the CIA and similar trusted actors make the world a more progressive place. Do not forget to donate ! (/s)

    To be fair, one should admit that they actually do things against racism that more than balance those previous ones, like:

    “Remove ALL references of blacklist/whitelist within Gecko”

    so there is still hope.

    A similar disruptive post was removed from a discussion about fake news on r/firefox as a “Conspiracy theory”. Another one was disappeared later by what I guess is some “smart AI technology”.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on November 2, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Mate, what do you want exactly?

      1. kirk said on November 14, 2020 at 4:53 pm

        His comment has more to do with politics and less with tech.

      2. PD said on November 4, 2020 at 11:12 am

        Good question. The comment is extensive and somewhat like one long paragaph.

        However, it seems like the author ‘wants’ to report that they are reconsidering their choice to use a supposedly politically / ethically-conscious program like Firefox when the program’s authors, Mozilla, are ‘in bed’ with the NYT despite the NYT admitting to telling lies that contributed to the ousting of democratically elected president via a military coup.

        Seems the comment author considers american entities screwing around with democracy in other countries to be a form of racism that is much more important to expose and correct than the arguably ludicrous, lip-service anti-racism efforts Mozilla is making, such as removing “blacklist” and “whitelist” from the Firefox codebase.

        As Firefox is nothing more than Mozilla’s tool with which it pushes it’s politics – for better and worse – I guess it is kind of reasonable, possibly even welcomed (and eventually ignored), to hold them politically accountable.

        If Mozilla is going to partner with anybody, those partners should be as clean as a planet constantly fighting a pandemic. That they are not only partnering with NYT (etc), but using that partnership to (effectively) censor the internet (AKA determine what is truth and what is “fake”), well, that’s a powderkeg right there for sure.

        I’d suggest the comment has some merit and applaud the author for presenting it in a relatively dispassionate manner as that is not always easy when posting about such topics.

        Apologies to the author if I have misinterpreted the post.

  5. boudeman said on November 1, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Since a week or so, assuming in connection with the update, the response within Firefox has changed in my tablet (Android 7.0). For instance, opening a link with a short finger tip does not give any reaction (formerly it did).A somewhat longer finger tip opens the link. A even slightly longer finger tip opens a window, asking what you want to do with the link. So opening a link within FF becomes a critical process and acquires a well defined time span during pressing, deviating from opening all apps or links within other apps. I find this so irritating that I will change my browser. Probably it will become Brave, which in every aspects behaves normally.

  6. mo said on November 1, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks for the update, now I have another addon to add to my list Google Search Fixer.

  7. honaldici said on November 1, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    I like the new Firefox for android but some features are missing and it is very buggy, I can’t download .apk from some websites.
    Please Mozilla fix this as soon as possible thank you Mozilla Firefox browser fast and secure.

  8. ShintoPlasm said on November 1, 2020 at 11:23 am

    I’ve dipping into this since the start of the Preview stage. While this rewrite is a bit faster than the Fennec codebase, it is still noticeably slower than Chromium equivalents. And the UI is an absolute horror show, not to mention many little bugs which are still being ironed out… Basically, it’s still a beta at best – and should never have been released to the public at this stage.

  9. PD said on November 1, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Will not change to Project Daylight (?) until is is well and truly on par with it’s predecessor. Not including a download handling page on release is just weird and a bunch of other things are no longer available ATM, such as about:config which I’ve never used on Android myself but if it was there before, should be now. Apparently there’s no facility to specify a proxy otherwise.

    Martin could you link to the full list of changes please?

  10. asdasd said on November 1, 2020 at 10:03 am

    I’ll stay with FF68 for now.

  11. Benjamin said on November 1, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I can not get used to the GUI.
    The tab management is ridiculous because the tab bar is eliminated from view, it needs an extra tip to open the hidden tabs and there are always several tabs of the same site available. I would want a scrollable tab bar in view
    The same unbelievable GUI design is the password management (can it be really called that, management?) in the later firefox incarnations were they simply eliminated the table like structure incl. information and options available. Now every password needs to be clicked several times to see all the neccessary information.
    I sometimes think that this new GUI design is all made by and for those young people who live together with the devices screen more than with real people.
    The same goes for the newer information screens for the public transport systems here. Were as before there was a screen with all information available at a glance, the new designs force everyone to keep their eyes on the screens far longer because not all information is available at a glance. It simply steals your attention and time…

    1. kirk said on November 14, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      True. They should have given an option to toggle the always on/off for tab bar. As for UI, it should be functional first and showy second.

  12. noz said on November 1, 2020 at 9:52 am

    For those who don’t want to download it from the play store, for a number of good reasons, the old link to Fennec’s apk (up to v68) is not updated since the release or Fenix.

    Fortunately, I found this :

    It says that for now the apk is available on Github :
    And should also be provided directly by Mozilla like before sooner or later.

    1. Anonymous said on November 1, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      Just download from F-Droid:
      The apk provided by Mozilla has lots of Google trackers. F-Droid doesn’t allow that crap.

      1. Anonymous said on November 1, 2020 at 7:40 pm

        Fennec is still Mozilla, minus the proprietary code like Google trackers (trust Google, or we’ll send our gang teach you humility in places where we can’t censor you, they paid us $300 million dollars this year by the way) that F-Droid forced them to remove because of the repository rules. As the Fennec F-Droid page says, “The upstream source code is not entirely Free”. I have discovered however that saying that Firefox code is not entirely Free is also a censorable offense as “spreading FUD” in Mozilland.

        So still being Mozilla, Fennec F-Droid does still have the “This app tracks and reports your activity” anti-feature on the F-Droid page.

        IceRaven is an alternative that removes the remaining spyware and some other anti-features:

      2. MattR said on November 7, 2020 at 4:38 am

        Thanks for recommending IceRaven. All the addons I want are available. It’s plenty fast and the built in privacy enhancements are appreciated. How it compares in privacy to other browsers I cannot say.

        Previously I’ve been using Bromite, which is excellent, but with no extensions available the web can be annoying. Seems there’s a lot of good browsers nowadays and I enjoy trying them all.

      3. kirk said on November 14, 2020 at 4:51 pm

        It has the standard privacy settings as stock Firefox. The only significant change is in the support for extra add ons.

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