Firefox for Android’s new tab page is now even more customizable than Chrome (APK Download) | #android | #security


Firefox 94 Beta is rolling out now

Mozilla has released the first Firefox 94 beta for Android, and it’s packed with interesting additions. While Firefox 93 focused on security and added a proper system-wide password manager, Firefox 94 is concerned with improving the user experience. There’s a new homepage shortcut in the address bar and big changes to the new tab page (or homepage, as Mozilla calls it).

What’s new in Firefox

Personalized Firefox homepage: Jump to your open tabs, bookmarks, and browsing history.

• Clean, organized tabs: Clear away tab clutter with improved layout and auto-closing tabs.

• Recent searches: Revisit your latest searches from your homepage and tabs.

When you first start the browser, it will greet you with a popup message detailing what’s new — a nice addition, given that we used to have to dig through Firefox to see what changed. The message tells you that the browser has gained a new, personalized homepage, cleaner, better organized tabs, and access to recent searches from your homepage. We also spotted that Firefox has added a homepage shortcut to the left of the address bar by default, replacing the shield shortcut for tracking protection settings; this menu was consolidated with the lock icon in Firefox 93.

Above: Firefox 94. Below: Firefox 93.

The new homepage will certainly be divisive. By default, it provides you with a selection of “thought-provoking stories” from Pocket, the article-focused bookmarking service Mozilla acquired a few years ago. Thankfully, it’s possible to turn off the section via a Customize homepage shortcut at the bottom of the site. It gives you quick access to the Customize section in settings. In there, you can granularly decide what you want to see on the homepage, like a Jump back in section with recent tabs, Recent bookmarks, Recent searches, and Pocket. With the latter option disabled and all other enabled, you’ll get a much cleaner and more useful homepage that’s miles beyond what Chrome offers.

As for tabs, Firefox will now automatically start on the homepage when you open the app for the first time after four hours, though you can turn this off if you don’t like it. By default, Firefox will now also move old tabs to a new “inactive” section when you haven’t viewed them for two weeks, but this can be tweaked to your liking, too.

After months of stagnation (at least when it comes to visible changes) it’s great to see Mozilla working on adding features again. Let’s just hope that we’ll also get access to more extensions soon without having to rely on the Nightly release. The list of supported add-ons hasn’t been extended for a long time.

You can download Firefox Beta on the Play Store or over at APK Mirror.

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