Mozilla recently released Firefox Preview 2.0 web browser for Android. Firefox Preview was first released in June and is an entirely new browser built from the ground up for performance and privacy. It will eventually replace Firefox For Android, which is Mozilla’s current stable browser on Android.
Firefox is a major browser platform used by millions of people worldwide. It is the only browser that is made by a non-profit group(Mozilla). It is also the only major browser that doesn’t use Chrome’s Blink rendering engine. This means that Firefox is an important member of the web ecosystem.
Firefox Preview has a number of improvements over the current stable, Firefox for Android:
- Firefox Preview has a streamlined UI that is much easier to use.
- Preview uses Mozilla’s own GeckoView renderer, which Mozilla says will offer twice as much performance as the regular Firefox For Android. While ascertaining whether the performance is 2x is difficult, in regular usage, Firefox Preview 2.0 is definitely faster at rendering pages than Firefox For Android. Pages load much faster and scrolling is much smoother.
- Firefox Preview has collections, which let you group tabs related to a single topic so you can manage them better.
- Firefox Preview borrows privacy features from Firefox Focus and has privacy features like Tracker Blocking by default.
New Features in Firefox Preview 2.0:
- A new Firefox Preview search widget for your home screen.
- Website shortcuts can be added to the home screen.
- You can send a tab from Firefox Preview 2.0 to a Firefox installation on any other device, provided you have signed in to Firefox Sync.
- You can go straight to Private Browsing mode from your home screen.
- When playing audio/video, you will get a notification with media controls so you can control media even if you’re in a different app.
- If you have another browser where you have signed in to Firefox Sync (eg. Firefox for Android), you can now sign in to Firefox Sync in Firefox Preview without having to re-enter your username and password.
Firefox Preview 2.0 First Impressions
Overall, Firefox Preview is definitely a step up in terms of performance and smoothness compared to the previous browser. Pages load much faster, and scrolling is much smoother. Some of the new features like the one-tap sign-in will make it a much better experience.
But the browser still has to catch up a lot with Firefox for Android when it comes to features and customization. Extension support is a big feature that will improve the user experience a lot. Hopefully, Mozilla will continue to add more updates in future versions.