An early look at Firefox Preview 3.0 for Android

Mozilla released the first beta version of Firefox Preview 3.0 on the project’s GitHub home. The beta, which is only available on GitHub and not on Google Play, upgrades the mobile browser for Android to version 3.0.

Firefox users who want to test the new browser using a version from Google Play may download the Nightly version instead. Note that Nightly versions are development builds that may be unstable.

Mozilla started to work on Firefox Preview, initially known as Fenix, some time ago. We covered the first public release of Firefox Preview in 2019 and the launch on Google Play.

The organization plans to replace the current version of Firefox for Android with Firefox Preview (and rename Firefox Preview to just Firefox once that is done).

firefox preview 3.0

Firefox Preview 2.0 was released some time ago. The version, available on Google Play and GitHub, introduced support for a number of features including send tab to other device, more browsing data clearing controls, or options to add website shortcuts and a search widget to the Home screen of the device.

Firefox Preview 3.0 introduces major new features that extend the functionality significantly. The new version includes options to add search engines manually to the Firefox browser, control autoplay behavior, and adds better enhanced tracking protection and syncing controls.

  • Enhanced Tracking Protection improvements: switch between standard and strict protection settings and better manage the feature.
  • Open links in private tabs: option to open any link in a private tab in Firefox Preview. (tap on the link you want to open, select Firefox Preview, pick always).
  • Clear browsing data on exist: a new Setting to clear browsing data on exit is available in Firefox Preview 3.0. Previously, it was only possible to clear the data manually (only works when you select the quit option from the menu).
  • Choose what to sync: currently, you may select Bookmarks or History only.
  • Option to control media autoplay: was not available in the beta version that I used.
  • List and manage downloads.
  • Ability to add search engines manually.
  • Put the navigation bar at the top or bottom of the browser interface.
  • Enforce zoom on all websites.

The browser lacks add-on support at the time but Mozilla promised that Firefox Preview would support extensions after all. Support for some extensions is expected to become available in the first half of 2020.

Closing Words

Firefox Preview is improving with every release but that is usually the case before the first final release of a product. Mozilla wants to ensure that all major features of the current Firefox version for Android are supported by the upcoming browser before users are switched over to the new browser.

Now You: What is your take on Firefox Preview? Anything you’d like to see supported?

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