Maybe Don’t Update Firefox for Android

Source: The Register Maybe Don’t Update Firefox for Android

Who Needs More Than Nine Add-Ons To Chose From Anyways?

Firefox 79 for Android devices is being rolled out across the planet, arriving in the US on August 27th and much to the dismay of users that have been upgraded already, the new version is working as Mozilla intended.  The problem is that GeckoView, the new mobile browsing engine implemented in this version doesn’t play nicely with many existing add-ons and they will work not until they are redesigned by their creators.

That is only the beginning of the litany of complaints that The Register heard when they looked into it.  In at least some cases the back button no longer exists to let you return to a previous page, which will be something of a problem for most users.  Other users are running into crashes when searching on Google, or even when trying to report a crash which they just experienced.

It is good to have an alternative to Chrome’s Blink mobile browsing engine, however it would be better if it was a viable alternative which worked at least as  well if not more effectively.  The update is also one way, once you have updated to the new version you cannot roll back, and removing the application and trying to install an older version is a non-trivial challenge.

As of now, the remaining three quarters of people at Firefox that survived the recent layoffs consider the new version to be working as it should; the third party extensions which no longer work are the in the individual creator’s purview and not theirs.   The Register posted the official statement from Mozilla here, if you are curious what the exact wording of their reply was.

An update to the Android flavor of Firefox left fuming punters thinking a bad experimental build had been pushed to their smartphones. In fact, this was a deliberate software release.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it K7M.com, AMDMB.com, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

21 Comments

  1. Josh Russell

    Sucks yes, but PC went through this a while ago.

    What really sucks is that there’s no ad blocking ability with Firefox on iOS unless you go full privacy mode with Firefox Focus – which is a PITA. There’s no in-between with FF on iOS. Apple makes it harder as usual.

    Reply
  2. BinkyTo

    Jeremy,

    Did you mean “July 27” or “August 27”?

    Reply
    • Jeremy Hellstrom

      What month is it anyways? Thanks.

      Reply
  3. mike

    just google firefox android old versions… from mozilla you can download the install file for 68 and uninstall this heap of @!@** calling itself 79

    Reply
    • razor512

      Sadly there are a few android apk sites that are taking advantage of the situation and packaging old versions with malware.
      You have to get the apk file from Mozilla which they still offer on their FTP servers.

      Reply
  4. RicO

    Do people not read before upgrading? It was known that only a few addons in their current configuration would work.

    Reply
    • Naser

      Nah. Will not to upgrade. A few addon? I only use pop-up ad addon very useful on current

      Reply
  5. dragosmp

    Works fine on my android 10. Feels smoother and loads a bit faster, and (wohoooo) it can share tabs to the desktop. I know it can sync, I don’t want that. Sometimes I do find a thing on a page on the phone when stuck in a meeting that I’d like to research more in depth on the big machine (like a mitre saw as it happens), so I’m glad now I can click to share and find it added to the tabs on my rig.

    Reply
  6. Wilbur Twilliger

    I don’t auto update anything, yet when I opened Firefox, I was forced to look at this new piece of garbage. Life is too short to learn how to use a browser, I uninstalled this piece of junk. Went with Armorfly, it works well.

    Reply
  7. Paul

    Most people have the play store set to automatically update all their apps.

    Reply
  8. ira

    New Android Firefox ver 79 does not have the “save page as pdf” feature. This was a very handy feature, and it was easy to use.

    Reply
  9. Greg

    Worse thing ever…its do disconcerting.

    Reply
  10. razor512

    I tried it, it was a horrible experience. While looking for the latest V68.x build, I ended up trying edge for android and it was a better experience than firefox 79.

    They ruined the browser.

    I don’t like the address bar at the bottom, but they designed all subbmenus with the ar being at the bottom, thus while you can move it to the top, it will have you constantly shifting your grip. for example the tab menu button will be at the top of the screen, an th enew tab button will be at the bottom.

    They also made the tab views far larger thus harder to manage many opened tabs.

    It is also not any faster. Even worse it struggles with certain sites, for example, the mobile twitter website, if you want to browse through all of the media posts from an artist you like, the old firefox will handle it with no problem, while the new one will bog down and respond slowly after you have scrolled past 200 or so image posts.

    Overall, it is not faster, it doesn’t use less RAM, but it has far fewer features.

    The UI is less intuitive, things take more taps to complete, if you want the classic look, then you need to shift the device more since there are many situations where a menu item at the top of the screen has a corresponding button at the bottom.
    It is less customizable since they got rid of about:config.

    They change the addon program where while they implemented the new API in February and most addons are already compatible with it, they have moved to a curated list model where no matter what a developer does, they will not have a guaranteed path into the walled garden of their curated addon list.

    Finally, worse of all, it does not work properly with password managers, e.g., lastpass does not reliably fill in passwords for it, and for those of us who just generate passwords at the max length a website will allow, it makes it a nightmare to sign into things.

    Reply
  11. mARIUS

    the new ui is horrible. FF was my faorite Browser over the last years, but now it switched to vivaldi – I know it’s chromium based, but at least it’s working just fine for me and offers bookmarks where you would expect them.

    Reply
    • Randy

      Yep, it’s the bookmark changes that irritate me the most … the layout is terrible…

      Reply
  12. Dom

    Hi everyone! Does someone knows how to roll back, however challenging it may be?

    Reply
  13. Randy

    I’ve been using FF on my Samsung Galaxy tablet for 2 years, I had no problems with it, I could navigate easily etc. The new interface sucks and blows … was I automatically upgraded? Beats me… I opened FF a few days ago and Boom, there’s the “new and improved” FF … I didn’t even bother with it I was so mad, I went over to Chrome… at least it still looks recognizable

    Reply
  14. Dom

    Given up on backrolling it.
    After considerable research, I opted for Brave as a best private substitute, with startpage as a default research, plus Tor for really sensitive topics.

    Reply
  15. Dom

    After giving up on finding a way to roll it back, and significant research, I opted for Brave as best alternative, with my usual Startpage.com as default search engine, plus Tor for more private browsing on more sensitive topics.
    Good luck everyone and thank you for the postings!

    Reply
  16. Dom

    Covid19 killed Firefox!

    Reply
  17. ffokcuf

    Yeah, ditch FF 79 unless you want all the addons that you use to get disabled.

    Reply

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