Mozilla has been working on a brand new version of Firefox for Android, nicknamed 'Fenix,' for over a year at this point. The new codebase slowly trickled down from Preview to Beta, and at long last, the aging stable browser is now receiving the update. However, fans of the stable browser might still notice a few features missing.
The stable version of Firefox for Android has not been significantly updated since July 2019, while Mozilla's developers have focused solely on the new codebase. The stable app has now been updated from v68 to v79, and now uses the codebase from Firefox Preview/Beta. Compared to the older version, there's a more modern interface with a bottom address bar, an updated GeckoView engine with improved performance, more privacy options, Collections (tab groups), dark mode support, and other changes.
However, there is still one crucial missing feature in the new codebase — support for all extensions. Firefox for Android has thousands of extensions available from the add-ons repository, but the updated app only lets you install nine of them. That's a significant downgrade, even if the handful of supported options are some of the most popular choices. Here's the full list:
- uBlock Origin
- Dark Reader
- HTTPS Everywhere
- Privacy Badger
- NoScript Security Suite
- Search by Image
- YouTube High Definition
- Privacy Possum
While this isn't a complete surprise, it is disappointing that the extension ecosystem on Firefox on Android is now minuscule. My favorite add-on isn't on the list (Redirect AMP to HTML), and there's no way for developers to update their extensions without being partnered with Mozilla first. The official add-ons account says more might be available "soon," but I thought the whole point of the separate Beta/Preview channels was to not replace the classic browser until the new codebase has all the same features.
Hi Dan! We're working on enabling support for more extensions for Android and should have some positive updates soon. 😉
Unfortunately, due to limited UI the new Android experience will only support a handful of native themes.
— Mozilla Add-ons (@mozamo) April 6, 2020
Firefox 79 is now rolling out on the Play Store. We also have the APK on APKMirror, if you don't want to wait.
- Juan Monderazo