Firefox for Android starts rolling out redesign w/ bottom-bar, limited extension support

For a while now, Firefox has been working on a complete redesign for its Android browser known as “Fenix.” The updated browser delivers a lot of changes for the better, but it also cripples Mozilla’s extension support.

Firefox’s stable channel on the Play Store jumps from v68 to v79 with this update, including essentially a year’s worth of updates in a single go. The updated version uses the same codebase from the beta versions of Firefox on Android, as well as pulling over the redesigned UI. All of the elements have a more modern design as well as some nice quality-of-life changes. For example, the address bar can now be moved to the bottom of the screen, a more comfortable location for many users.

The official changelog for this update also details everything else that’s new.

  • New Tabs Tray
  • Perform voice searches from the address bar.
  • Icon now shows up in the address bar when Reader mode is available.
  • More add-on support
  • Enhanced Tracking Protection is set to Strict by default.
  • You can now sort your logins by name or last-used date.

There’s a lot of good here, but the one big negative is extension support. As Android Police points out, this feature gets a considerable downgrade. Where Firefox v68 supported thousands of extensions, v79 only launches with a handful, listed below. On the bright side, this should be fixed over time as developers are able to update their extensions/add-ons.

  • uBlock Origin
  • Dark Reader
  • HTTPS Everywhere
  • Privacy Badger
  • NoScript Security Suite
  • Decentraleyes
  • Search by Image
  • YouTube High Definition
  • Privacy Possum

Also noteworthy is that this Firefox redesign isn’t available for all Android users just yet. As TechDows notes, only a few regions are supported so far: SA,UA,NZ,BG,NO,PH. Luckily, you can just sideload the update if you’re feeling impatient.