10
Dec
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Good news, Mozilla fanatics: the updates that hit the beta channel of Firefox's Android browser back in November are now ready for prime time. Version 26 was uploaded to the Play Store today, complete with some notable interface changes and a few under-the-hood tweaks as well. The browser is free as always, and it's compatible with Android devices running 2.2 or later.

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The biggest user-facing change is to the home screen, which is now tabbed Holo-style. Quick swipes to the right will let you see your most-visited sites, history, bookmarks, and reading list. You can also pin tabs to the homepage, a nice bit of desktop functionality that's made it across the mobile divide. US and European users now have access to Yahoo and Bing in the new search provider section of the Settings menu, and the integrated password manager now supports script-generated password fields.

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Underneath the hood, this build should perform better on at least some Tegra devices (though whether it's Tegra 2, 3, or 4, or some combination thereof, Mozilla isn't saying), and of course the app gets the usual handful of security, stability, and compatibility fixes. If you'd like a more complete list, you can check it all out at Mozilla.org.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Nathan

    Quite like Firefox on Android. Still using Chrome because of syncy tho...

    • Franco Rossel

      Same. The Google sync is awesome, and the Mozilla solution it's not nearly as practical.

      • kamiller42

        How is it not as practical? I sync with multiple desktops and portables on one account with no problem.

        • Franco Rossel

          Last time I checked out, you needed some encryption key and a Mozilla account, and for some reason, even with that I lost all my data. With Chrome, you just log in and everything syncs effortlessly, even plugins. Anyways, I don't use desktop Firefox anymore, but I will stick with its mobile version for Flash support.

          • kamiller42

            You need an recovery password, which acts as part of your encryption, if have no devices in your "web of sync" left. No devices means zero devices signed into the Firefox Sync network. That's a difficult position to be in given all the PCs and mobile devices we have now.

            Nearly all the time, all you need is an easy setup code. You don't even have to sign into Mozilla on the new machine. Go to an existing machine, click register a device, enter the code displayed on the existing device's screen onto the new device. Done!

            Since setting up my web of sync devices, I have never had to sign into anything, even when setting up new phones and tablets. Can't get any easier than that.

          • Franco Rossel

            Sounds good, but I'm constantly flashing my tablet and partitioning my PC, and my phone isn't compatible with Firefox (goddammit x86 architecture), for me its pretty frequent to be left without devices on the web. But it should work fine for the vast majority of the people.

          • kamiller42

            "Sounds good, but I'm constantly flashing my tablet and partitioning my PC"

            All at the same time? Where all devices are down at the same time? You do that frequently? If I understand correctly, very strange.

            Firefox for Android x86 is available. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2318494

            Another thing I also like about Firefox sync is how I can send links and text from one device to the other by pushing it through the Sync system. Very handy. For desktop to mobile, I use Fox To Phone which uses Chrome to Phone. I can push any direction to any device.

          • Franco Rossel

            Yep, I'm a flashaholic, and i keep building Arch Linux on my PC, because when i finish i always feel unsatisfied. Also, i just check the Play Store, and yeah, Firefox beta is avaible in my phone. Now i will give a second try to the Mozilla sync. Thanks for the heads up.

          • Davy Jones

            It is effortless if you are comfortable with Google having access to all of your data. If you want to go the encryption route then it is hard to make it easy. Have you tried using the option to encrypt your Chrome data? I didn't find it to be a walk in the park.

          • Franco Rossel

            Im completely comfortable, I don't have anything to hide, and i don't mind them getting me personalized ads.

    • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

      I use Firefox on Mac, and I really like the syncing between that and Firefox for Android

  • Severo Rivera

    The browser looks awesome, but for me Dolphin is still my main browser of choice.

  • Ano

    Personnaly I think that among worst mainstream browsers ever in Android are the terrible Firefox and even more inferieur Chrome.

    Post AOSP the best off all only second rate browsers in Android for now Dolphin and Next. Very dissapointed in browsing in Android. Perhaps tried all existing browsers.

    • Simon Belmont

      I've been happy with Chrome. Especially since KitKat hit (it's gotten much smoother).

      I've grown very used to (and enjoy) the tab system in Chrome (swipe down to access tabs). Also the syncing is stellar.

  • http://www.williamint.com William Aleman

    If Mozilla had better syncing, I would be using FF.

    • kamiller42

      How is it not good enough?

    • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

      Syncing does need some work, but hopefully it'll improve with time

  • Be my guest

    Nice release, but
    1) it still beaks the intent system (ie, a link to a play store app/youtube video/etc does not open the intent popup.
    See this bug issue: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=806385
    2) you cannot move th defaut search engine. Yep, the absymal yahoo search will be part of your lfe.
    3) and the poor sync ui as most have already pointed out.

    • kamiller42

      2) Huh? When I type terms in the address bar, I can choose among many search engines. Default is Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia. If I just click the search glass, it searches Google. Surprised if Yahoo is the default since Google is paying Mozilla a few million dollars to make Google the default search engine. Must be something with your config. Try uninstall and re-installing.

      If those search options don't work for you, you can setup keyword searches. For instance, I setup a search for Froogle (Google Shopping) with "f" as the keyword. Type "f Asus Router XYZ" and I'm shown Froogle results. Since keyword searches are saved as bookmarks, they show up on every machine. I can use it everywhere. Sweet! http://kb.mozillazine.org/Using_keyword_searches

      3) Works great for me. Set it up once using one code (No login required.) and done! If you already have Sync setup on the desktop, you just need to focus on Part 3 in this doc. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/use-sync-share-bookmarks-and-more-with-firefox-mobile

      • Be my guest

        hi !
        2) nice way to add new engines.
        the thing is I don't use yahoo or eBay or twitter. I also value my screen real estate on my phone.
        So I want to be able to *delete* those engines.
        Yeah, crazy I know.

        3) well, the chrome way makes more sense to me: an email and password is way simpler.
        the current to do it is cumbersome: adding extra steps for no obvious benefits.
        It's a poor design. I wonder what was the rationale behind it.

  • Adrian

    I dont like FF because Sync sometime dosent work.

    • kamiller42

      How does it not work for you?

      • Adrian

        A special code won't generate.

        • kamiller42

          You are clicking on "Pair a Device" on a Firefox machine already signed into Sync and it isn't generating a passcode? If you have more than 1 device sync'ing, try pairing from another machine. If have only 1, I would try unlinking and then re-linking. Try walking through these steps. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-do-i-set-up-firefox-sync

  • ff overrated

    Worst & overrated browser in android. Next, boat browser & chrome are the best.

  • airbag

    And now has search bars that cannot be removed. Uninstalled.

  • Eden Hanback

    I'm just curious. Can someone compare it to Google Chrome? I use Google Chrome and I love it, but I just would like to know how these two compare because I know others who absolutely love firefox as well.

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