As you may know by now, Mozilla has halted development of the stable Firefox release on Android, only adding security patches at the moment. The company is instead focusing on its next-generation browser, Firefox Preview, slated to replace its aging counterpart before the end of this year. A big update to version 2.0 adds a number of features to the new browser, like a search widget, a notification with audio/video playback controls, and various usability enhancements. Add-ons are not yet available, sadly.
Left: Copy and paste shortcuts. Middle: 'Add to Home screen' option Right: Search widget and long-press shortcuts.
Tapping and holding the address bar now gives you quick access to copy, paste, plus paste & go, letting you easily enter or share URLs. A notification automatically pops up to let you control audio and video playback so you can listen to content with the browser in the background. You can add a new search bar widget to your home screen which will throw you into the Firefox address entry window. Similarly, adding website shortcuts to your launcher is now possible, though I couldn't get this to work properly on my Pixel 3 running Android 10 — the app is still a beta, after all. A new shortcut also lets you quickly open an incognito tab by tapping and holding the browser's icon.
With Firefox Preview 2.0 update, you get the following features:
- Add Firefox Preview as a search widget on your home screen.
- Add a website shortcut to your home screen.
- Send a tab from Firefox Preview to another device.
- Launch private browsing from your Home screen.
- More control over clearing different types of browsing data.
- A notification that audio/video is playing with the option to pause or play it.
- Long-press the address bar to copy, paste, or paste and go.
- One-tap sign-in to Firefox accounts if you’re already logged in on another Firefox browser on the same device.
- Accessibility enhancements
The workflow for signing into a Firefox account has been improved as you only need one tap to gain access if you're logged into another Firefox version on your device. Once you start using your account, you are also able to send tabs from Firefox Preview to another device, something Chrome has only added very recently. Add-ons are nowhere to be seen, unfortunately, but Mozilla promised to have them readily available once Preview is promoted to a stable release channel.
The new version is available for download on the Play Store or over at APK Mirror.