Firefox has launched Firefox Preview, its new mobile pilot browser app for Android and it is now available for download on the Google Play Store for testing. The company says that the polished version of the flagship application, which focuses on “safety, privacy and independence,” will be available later this fall. It essentially follows the company’s previous privacy-focused product Firefox Focus that was launched about two and a half years ago. Firefox says that the new application is powered by Firefox’s own mobile browser engine GeckoView that fuels its Focus app.
“Unlike Big Tech, which only recently started to put more emphasis on privacy, we launched Firefox Focus, a mobile browser for iOS and Android that allows you to discover the web without being followed around by trackers. While continuously improving Firefox Focus over time, we realised that users demanded a full-fledged mobile browsing experience, but more private and secure than any existing app. So we decided to make Firefox more like Focus, but with all the ease and amenities of a full-featured mobile browser. The result is an early version of what we currently call Firefox Preview,” the company said in a blogpost.
As mentioned, the Firefox Preview is based on GeckoView which is claimed to deliver greater flexibility in terms of privacy and security. Firefox says that unlike other major Android browsers that are based on Blink, Firefox’s GeckoView engine gives the company the ability to develop “faster, secure and user-friendly browser.” The company claims that the Firefox Preview is up to two times faster than previous versions of Firefox for Android. It has a bottom navigation bar and Collections, a new feature that helps users save, organise, and share collections of sites. Further, Firefox Preview blocks trackers by default which results in faster browsing and fewer annoyances, the company said.
If you want to test the product, you can download an early version of the experimental browser for Android users based on GeckoView. Users can provide their feedback via email or on Github. It is obvious that the user experience of this early version will differ significantly from the final product, which is planned for release later this year. Meanwhile, the development on Firefox Focus will be on hold, however, users can still keep using the browser as well as the current Firefox for Android.