Mozilla has unveiled the first preview of a redesigned from the ground up Android browser, which you can test right now, if you so desire.
Firefox Preview is Android Firefox but rebuilt from scratch to use Mozilla’s own GeckoView rendering engine, which also powers Firefox Focus, a privacy-centered browser. That browser’s development is currently on ice while all efforts go to bringing Geckoview to the masses.
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Could this see Firefox Focus and a new Firefox browser merged together? It would fit if they’re both using Geckoview, and as privacy is becoming more of a key proposition for even casual users, the added protection from Firefox Focus would likely be appreciated by many who could have been unaware that Firefox Focus exists.
The reckoning is that this preview will be twice as fast, include Firefox’s tracking protection, which will be on by default and, as an unstable release, should really only be tried out by developers or those eager to get their feet wet as an early adopter.
But, getting involved now isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Mozilla has mentioned that this app will eventually replace the current Firefox for Android offering, probably taking place towards the tail end of 2019.
“we realized that users demanded a full-fledged mobile browsing experience,” said Mozilla, talking about the new preview. Then they added that users require a browser “More private and secure than any existing app. So we decided to make Firefox more like Focus, but with all the ease and amenities of a full-featured mobile browser.”
I’ve had a little play around and it does feel fast, but before 10am most things feel quick to me. What I did notice more easily was a stripped back interface that I’m actually quite taken with.
Try it for yourself if you’re willing to take the risk of pre-release software. It’s on Google Play.