04
Feb
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If Chrome isn't cutting it for you, or if you're a die-hard Mozilla fan, or if you'd just like the ability to watch Flash videos every once in a while, the Android version of Firefox is your best bet. Mozilla keeps coming with steady updates, and the latest fixes an especially vexing problem: Flash support is back in KitKat. (It's still marked as unresolved in the release notes for Firefox 27, but I've tested it on my own KitKat tablet.) You'll still need an archived version of Flash to make the plugin work.

2014-02-05 01.13.23 2014-02-05 01.24.22 2014-02-05 01.32.13

Elsewhere in Firefox, the team has added translations for Lithuanian, Slovenian, South African English and Thai languages, plus a default Clear Sans font and a few user interface tweaks to the favicon system. There is no more iOS-style over-scrolling on web content - it's been switched to an Android-standard highlight (that little flash of color you get when you try to scroll past the end of the page). Highlighting text is now a little easier, and security and privacy buffs will be happy to know that TLS 1.1/1.2 is now enabled by default.

There are a handful of other additions that will be useful for web developers (most notably WebRTC support) plus the usual security and bug fixes. You can check them out with links to the relevant Bugzilla pages in the full release notes. Everyone else, check the widget below to get Firefox from the Play Store.

Thanks, TheManii!

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.

  • Raymond Berger

    Is it just me or is Chrome on Android only gotten slower lately? I'd like to use Firefox but I really like the bookmark/password/history sync across my desktop and phone.

    • Régis Knechtel

      It's not just you :/

      • matteventu

        I can assure you that Chrome is a sh!t also on my brand new Nexus 5 lol

    • http://papped.webatu.com papped

      Firefox sync supports that...

      • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

        I don't think you can cross sync from Chrome to Firefox... unless there is a add-on for it

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          Is cross sync a requirement? Because I'm pretty sure people syncing Chrome tabs/history are only syncing it to Chrome mobile in this case...

        • thermoplastics

          Look up Xmarks. Install it on Chrome and let it sync up your bookmarks. Then install Xmarks on Firefox and have it sync all the Chrome bookmarks into Firefox. Once all your bookmarks are in Firefox, delete Xmarks and start cross syncing all your Firefox browsers with it's built in sync.

      • Régis Knechtel

        Between desktop Chrome and mobile Firefox? O_o

        • http://papped.webatu.com papped

          So Firefox mobile has to support sync to desktop Chrome, but Chrome doesn't have to support cross sync... The point is syncing your desktop and phone, not cross sync as Chrome fails at that also.

          • Régis Knechtel

            I didn't say that. My point is: i think what Raymond was traying to say is he wants to access his desktop CHROME bookmarks / passwords / history, so he's stuck with mobile chrome.

          • Stacey Liu

            Or you can have desktop FF import your bookmarks from desktop Chrome. Passwords may be an issue though.

          • Donna – John

            my&nbspclassmate's&nbspstep-sister&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­89&nbspan&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­r&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­е­­­­­­τ.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspout&nbspof&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­K&nbspfor&nbsp6&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspρ­­­­­­а­­­­­­Уcheck&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­15830&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­е­­­­­­τ&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs.&nbspRead&nbspmore&nbspon&nbspthis&nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е,...&nbspW&#87W&#46Googleprofitfalls2014topforqpqfue0Y&#x2E&#x71&#114&#46&#110&#101&#116&#x2F&#109&#x4Bl&#106/

            ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉𝂓 ▉ ▉ ▉ 𝁪▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ ▉ it's probably the smoothest and fastest browsing experience i've gotten on android.

          • Jon

            I reckon if you can import/sync those on your desktop, then you're fine to go with the android version. I'm pretty sure there should be something for it.

    • Nick

      Chrome on Android is an absolute train wreck. It has been since version 18 eons ago.

      • Avril111

        My
        Uncle Connor got Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG use this link B­u­z­z­3­4­.­ℂ­o­m

      • duke69111

        I love it on my pc, but I hate it on my G2. The stock android browser is much better than Chome for Android, IMO.

    • Kwills88

      Chrome flies for me..(Nexus 5)...it's probably the smoothest and fastest browsing experience i've gotten on android.

      • Lorbas

        Whoever compares the Chrome sync with that pitiful excuse that Firefox offers has probably never used it. I'd love to use FF but the lack of reliable and easy sync with my desktop FF makes that browser useless. Don't even use FF on my laptop anymore. Chrome works just like a charm.

        • James

          Looks like someone hasnt used FF sync, and is comparing it with a pitiful excuse for a browser called Chrome.

          • thermoplastics

            I have used both many time and Firefox's sync is complete garbage. You have to put codes into each instance manually. Not to mention it is not explained too well. With Chrome you just log in, that's it.

          • Adam

            You forget to mention that FF Sync lets you use your own server. It's awesome for those of us who don't like giving Big Brother Google ALL of our data.

          • Gabernasher

            Because Big Brother Google is doing you such harm by showing you targeted ads, what an evil concept.

          • http://evrenes.at/ Evren Esat Özkan

            I think they use codes because they dont want to force their users to create an account that can be tracked by gov agencies...

          • vip-nord

            if you have an app in order to sync chrome data to FF data, then FF wil become my first browser :)

    • wfq

      Chrome sucks.

    • realitysconcierge

      Honestly it boggles my mind how poorly it performs in comparison to other browsers. Whoever thought it was a good idea to replace text reflowing with autosizing hasn't ever tried using it. My god does it suck.

    • Caspy7

      If you don't want to use Firefox on the desktop (which supports sync) your best bet might be to set up something like xmarks on your PC to sync between Chrome and Firefox and then sync to Android that way.
      Assuming you've got the extra bit of memory to spare for this, you could also use a program to minimize fx to the system tray so it's out of the way (you could also start Firefox at Windows startup if you really like).
      The pay option would be to use Xmarks Premium for Android.

  • Daniel Traynor

    Agreed Raymond. Chrome has got slower lately.

    • Ram Steff
      • calmdownbro

        - Print money.
        - Save on tax.
        - Sell more data.
        - Print even more money.
        - Money.

        (To be honest, these "plans" sound rather generic. Heck, un-real even.
        Like I would say: "My software should be faster this year!".
        Oh well. We will see.
        Unless they add AdBlock to mobile Chrome, no Chrome for me.)

        • Ram Steff

          believe what you want, but that's what their goals are.

  • http://alexus.org/ alexus

    wow, flash) i thought everyone forgot about it already))

    • Matthew Fry

      We all wish. A surprising number of things still use flash and I hate it. The plugin is almost always acting up and is a giant memory hog.

  • Lucas Albuquerque

    Sorry for The dumb question but, which version exactly do we have to use to flash to work properly? Which one of the archived? Ty!

    • Guest

      DoDoldfdf

    • duke69111

      Not for sure since I don't use Firefox, but I would assume the latest version. Flash Player 11.1 for Android 4.0 (11.1.115.81)

    • Bobby Phoenix

      My video is not working right. For example I'm on Ebaumsworld, and the video will start to play, and I get sound, but the video is all choppy and bad. This is using FF 28 on "Default" view and 115.81 Flash. Now if I use Phony, and set it to "Desktop" it plays right. Any suggestions?

  • alamarco

    I wish Firefox would fix their VPN incompatibilities. It's always hit or miss whether Firefox works when a VPN is enabled. The official support for the issue is to uninstall and re-install. That's an impractical solution. I keep trying Firefox out every few months and always get forced back to Chrome as I use a VPN daily.

    One day Firefox, one day. :(

    • KC

      LOL. The Tor Browser is a modified FF browser. If you're having VPN trouble, its just you.

      • alamarco

        Before laughing, you should do research. Be open minded, as you may not be experiencing an issue, but others will. That is the nature of software bugs.

        I wish I was the only one, as that would mean a solution would eventually present itself.

        Firefox Not Working With VPN
        https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/979032?esab=a&as=aaq

        • Kevin Cernekee

          I think this refers to the DNS caching issues tracked here:

          https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=947801
          https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=939318

          So basically, Firefox uses its own internal DNS resolver for hostname lookups, but it often fails to pick up changes to the system DNS settings. If you connect to a VPN and want to look up a hostname of a machine that is behind the firewall, Firefox will often send its DNS queries to the old (local) server instead of over the VPN. Typically the lookup will fail. I have observed this firsthand with tcpdump.

          If you access a host by IP address, ala http://209.68.27.16 it usually works OK.

          There is a recent comment from Feb 3rd which indicates some possible activity. In the meantime you might want to try Force Stop instead of uninstall/reinstall.

          As an alternative to Chrome, you could also try the AOSP/CM Browser. The latter has always worked for me on a VPN link.

          • alamarco

            I never even thought it could be the DNS. That makes perfect sense as I was always use URL's. I'll have to re-install Firefox and test this out with just IP addresses. Based on your information, I'm sure I'll find those working. While it won't make Firefox usable, I'll at least confirm it's the same issue.

            Good call on the Force Stop. Based on the bug reports I imagine all the network information would get re-initialized on start-up.

            I have a Nexus 5 so I don't have access to the AOSP browser. There is a version in the Play Store, but last time I ran it there were a few bugs and based on reviews it seems a few still remain. Not sure if there is another port.

            Thanks for the information. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on those bugs. Seeing the activity makes me hopeful. :)

  • Kevin Franklin

    Firefox has had WebRTC for some time now. On Desktop platforms since June 2013, and on Android since September 2013. https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/09/17/webrtc-now-available-across-mobile-and-desktop-with-new-firefox-for-android-compatibility/

  • sounder
  • varagor

    Text reflow or GTFO.

    • Matthew Fry

      So are you using Opera then or what?

      • varagor

        Yeah. Opera is the last bastion of text reflow on Android.

        • Matthew Fry

          begin rant
          Businesses/web portals have finally implemented the mobile sites we wanted 3+ years ago but rather than do it well, they've just restricted functionality so you end up turning to the desktop site anyway. It seems like now, more than ever, text reflow is needed. *sigh*
          end rant

    • realitysconcierge

      My lord am I mad about google stripping text reflow from 4.4... Their auto sizing just sucks so hard. Google refuses to admit that anything is wrong with it.

      • varagor

        Thank god for Opera. Their design is not as good as Chrome, but at least the performence and features are there.

        • DopeJam

          opera uses chroimium engine. I love opera for android

  • Cowicide

    Flash Player 11.1 for Android 4.0 (11.1.115.81) still not working with Firefox 27 on my Android 4.4.2 Nexus 7. Still works fine in Dolphin browser though.

    On the plus side, webpage loading is faster with Firefox 27 now.

    • eilegz

      hacked flash for dolphin wont work for firefox

      • Cowicide

        Thanks, I had figured it out in the meantime. I've found that now I can only have Flash either working in Dolphin (hacked version) or Firefox (via Adobe site), but not both at the same time. What a bummer.

        In my limited, initial tests, I've found that Flash performs better in Doplhin though. Even just the Adobe About Flash page load the flash better in Dolphin's Flash than with Firefox's Flash. It's a shame I have been put into a position to only use one or the other.

  • RonD

    How do you get the download of Flash from the archives. When I click the archive I get a text file in the browser window, not the apk in a file.

    • Gabernasher

      just google "Flash APK"

  • Tykin

    I've tried to use FireFox on Android several times and I just can't do it.

    The Google websites all look terrible, even with phony turned on and switched to a Webkit User Agent.

    I hate how when I click the navigation bar and start typing, it doesn't automatically erase the whole text even though the whole text was highlighted.

    Twice now, I've had an issue where Google auto searches simply stop running.

    And the browser lags so badly when you have some history built up and you start typing in the navigation bar.

    Chrome isn't much better. I'm actually using the Stock JB browser now.

    • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

      I don't mean to be "that guy" but it's written Firefox, not FireFox.

      • calmdownbro

        It's 2014. If they want the cool kids as users, it should be 420FiReFoX. Add some random words and it gets better. 420FiReFoX Dark Ed1t1on. (Okay this kinda sounds like an Android project on XDA, lol.)

    • eilegz

      blame google for using non standard and using webkit extensions that breaks everything that dont use webkit and blink.

  • hp420

    Flash is old-school BS, and I wish I didn't need it anymore. Unfortunately, until the rest of the world discovers how much better html5 is (and takes the plunge to switch to html5) I can't do without flash. Thanks for the news!! Now I can get rid of flashFOX and use just firefox for everything.
    I just wish Adobe hadn't been so damn quick to jump the gun and force the world to switch over to html5...it's pretty difficult to find many websites (aside from the major powerhouses) that actually use the new standard.

  • Ben

    Thank God. I thought I was the only one that hated chrome on my phone. I kept reading articles about how 'awesome' it was. Ugh!

  • jules

    Recently I found out on some website about the addon Stylish for Firefox Android. Finally webpage nightview which is very important to me on a tablet and phone. But have not succeded yet to make dark menu and startpage/new tab.

    Every app without option for dark theme and/or nightview should be banned out of Play Store if I was in charge...

  • http://ralphchastain.com/ Ralph Chastain

    FlashFox Pro - Flash Browser is a good alternative to Firefox which has Flash built in Firefox.

  • calmdownbro

    There is also AdBlock on Firefox. That's not something you can ignore. Ads not only eat up your data, they also eat up battery, screen estate, and make pages load slower. They are the plague of the internet.

    • varun

      Well, if you have root, you could always install AdAway.apk from F-Shield?

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        Or AdFree from BigTinCan.com

        • calmdownbro

          Ads, while we talk about adblocking.
          Oh, the irony.

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            How is this an ad? AdFree is the root app I use to block ads. O_o

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            How is this an ad? AdFree is the root app I use to block ads. O_o

        • varun

          I never did get AdFree to work properly, and then I found AdAway, which did, and y'know, #holoyolo and all that.

      • calmdownbro

        True. But rooting voids warranty (especially on 4.3+ fw on Samsung for example), and to be honest, the only time I found root useful is.. ehm... never.
        Honestly, I installed root many times, but I have no root apps in the list whatsoever. Only the terminal. Well, it IS a GOOD thing that we do not need root, like iOS users CRAVE for jailbreak. (Been there.) So yeah.

        • varun

          Interesting. I do use root powers quite a bit - AdAway is definitely the top one, but I get a fair bit of use from ES and TiBa as well. I've stuck with the Nexii since they came out, so warranty has been less of an issue for me.

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