For a couple of years, Firefox Aurora, the developer edition of the popular browser, has only been available directly from Mozilla. As of today, Aurora has landed on the Play Store, in early access (i.e. unreleased) form. This is presumably because it's unstable and not meant to be used by the general public, and only by those interested in what's coming soon or building the web. Regardless, it is always good to see things in development that will later be deployed to the public version of Firefox, which is currently on v49.
I've been trying to find out when Mozilla first released Aurora for Android, but the best I've found is v29.0a2, made available on February 7 2014. Read More
Much like Chrome releases, Mozilla's updates for Firefox are rarely mindblowing. Instead, we get a constant stream of smaller changes that slowly but surely upgrade all aspects of the user experience. The latest beta release for Firefox, v46, falls right in line with this pattern. The highlight of the update is that the browser will display recently visited webpages even when you are offline, using data stored in cache.
You don't need to do anything in particular to get the offline webpage feature going; if Firefox has it cached, it will display instead of the typical error messages you get when trying to browse offline. Read More
If you're not using Chrome on Android, there's a good chance you're using Firefox. Mozilla has bumped up the mobile browser to version 45 with a few tweaks that can help you save data and privacy alike. Read More
Mozilla advances another version in their rapid release cycle today, moving the stable version of Firefox for Android (and desktops) to v41. Unlike some other recent releases, this one has several goodies for regular users. These include a modification to in-browser search that makes it more like using the dedicated search bar in desktop Firefox, offering an easy tap-to-choose selection of different search providers.
To be honest, I think this is a lot more useful on mobile than it is on the desktop. The moments, taps, and typing saved are a lot more precious when using your phone.
Another highlight is the ability to search your saved logins when there are no matches. Read More
Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
- Interoperable and open;
- Optimized for the web;
- Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
- Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
- Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
- Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.
Webmaker is Mozilla's effort to make it easy for new smartphone users to make content for the web. Instead of creating something using WordPress or Blogger, people can throw materials together using a more simplistic interface. Webmaker has been available on the web since 2012, but now you can download an Android version directly from Google Play. Read More
Keeping to their normal rapid release schedule, Mozilla published v40 of the stable release of Firefox to the Play Store today. The biggest user-facing change in the update is one that was also present in the beta version of v40, allowing you to long press the forward or back buttons to see a list of your recently visited pages. Here's a quick look at how that works:
This is the sort of thing that only catches your attention when there aren't any other major changes, but this is one of those times. I don't think mobile browsers generally make going back very easy and sometimes the system back button isn't ideal when you plan to go back multiple pages. Read More
Mozilla, keeping pace with their regular rapid release schedule, released an update for Firefox Beta today. v39 graduated to stable, sending v40 to the beta channel. With some focus on changes to the desktop version, there aren't major user-facing changes in this Android update. Still, there should be some performance enhancements along with a nice UI improvement for navigating forward and backwards through a tab's history.
The overflow menu has been home to the forward and back shortcuts for quite a while now, but there wasn't an efficient way to navigate by several pages. Starting with v40, pressing and holding on the forward or back arrow will bring up a list view of your history. Read More
Mozilla is a champion of the web, and a core part of its mission has been supplying the open source Firefox browser. These days competitors like Chrome are eroding at its userbase, but they're doing so using many of the bullet points Mozilla emphasized—open source underpinnings, customization through add-ons, and speed.
Now Mozilla is pursuing its mission statement in other ways. One of the more well-known efforts would be the push to develop and sell Firefox phones. Another would be the lesser-known Webmaker initiative that empowers more people create material for the web and mobile devices. A beta version has made its way onto Google Play. Read More
Firefox Beta exists in the Play Store as a separate app that's open to the public, but regardless, there comes a time when things should go stable. For Firefox 38, now's that time.
As you would expect, version 38 comes with a number of new features. In addition to the changes we detailed in the past, this release also greets users with a redesigned launch screen. The old pop-up has been replaced with a landing page that is inherently less jarring.
Left: old, Right: new.
While we're talking visuals, the developers have provided the browser with an ever-so-slightly more material look. Read More