Firefox's been second after Google's Chrome, but that isn't much when you look at the percentages. Still, it's my first and only love... Who am I kidding, I'm currently having affair with Opera. Nevertheless, Firefox has always been a solid application since the days when it dwarfed IE and Chrome was just a pipe dream. The Android version of Firefox maintains its warmth and alluring aspect.
Being run on a limited screen space, the only visible controls are access to the tab manager and the standard menu button. Tap the latter and you get to see the classic browser controls, along with share options, printing, saving as PDF, and more.
The Tab menu is simple enough. You get to switch between regular and private tabs, as well as launch new tabs of either type. In this department, Firefox comes with extra protection during private browsing. We all know that "private browsing" has never been really private. Omitting some search words or addresses locally isn't going to amount to much when every website tracks your moves from their end. Where Opera comes with a working VPN, FIrefox opts for a lighter solution. It uses a tracking protection that blocks web pages from sending personal information. It's not as discreet as a VPN, but at least you won't be making as many splashes while surfing.
Pan-digital accessibility has also been on Mozilla's schedule for some time. "Firefox Sync" is of course also available on Android. You'll just need to allow Firefox to sync in the from the System Accounts manager and you'll be ready to sync, or to create a new Firefox Sync account. Firefox also features a master password option.
Add-ons and extentions are readily available here too. The Extension manager is full of content. Themes are very easy to install, as they have a separate section and can be easily previewed.
Firefox doesn't forget an important aspect of mobile browsing, which is eye strain. We all know how tiring watching a bright screen at night can be. So, whenever possible, the option to switch to "reading mode" will appear beside the address bar. After turning it on, you will be able to change the font size, switch between Serif and Sans-Serif and also chose between 3 types of "paper"
What I don't quite like about Firefox on Android, is its lacking download function. I'm a podcast listener myself, and I often prefer to download my audio material instead of playing it in a web applet. Well, with Firefox you'll have a hard time reaching the just download option. By default, the browser will begin playing the file, even though the original link is intended for download.
- Firefox Sync
- Tracking Protection for private browsing
- Extensions and themes
- Reading mode
- Master password
I'm not yet sure of which browser is best for mobile use. Firefox would be excellent, especially since I could sync my account, but the problematic download feature forces me to use an alternative just for that. However, this does not harm the experience and I'd truly recommend Firefox for a Firefox desktop user, if not for any user that's ready to jump off the chromed wagon.