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No Android browser is lucky to break into dominance in Google Chrome, but Firefox for Android is an extremely popular alternative. It has been installed more than 100 million times. Regardless, Mozilla decided it was time to put the current incarnation of Firefox on the shelf and prepare something new and improved.
The earliest versions of Fenix started appearing last year, but now you can download the browser for the first time from the Google Play store. This is a preview of the application, and Mozilla wants to make sure that users know what they are getting into before installing it.
If you want to try this, you first need to join this Google group. After you confirm your email address (it must be the same that you use to log in to Google Play), you can search and install the application.
Fenix certainly looks like a promising sequel to modern Firefox. It is fast and efficient, although at the moment some of them are associated with its somewhat limited set of functions. For example, add-ons are not yet supported. However, synchronizing bookmarks and browsing history already works, as well as privacy settings, such as tracking protection and control permissions for the camera, microphone and location of your device.
In the short time I tested Fenix, I did not encounter any serious problems. Web pages opened quickly and they looked exactly as I expected. This is not always the case with browsers at this stage, but this is not the first Mozilla rodeo. Mozilla knows how to create a good browser, and it’s clear that they are on the right track with Fenix.
So what will happen next? The current Firefox for Android will see its latest major update on July 9th. After that, Mozilla will continue to release security updates and bug fixes, but the focus will be on preparing the Fenix-based browser for release. A large transition is planned for some time in 2020.
Mozilla is not the only major browser developer who has decided to return to the drawing board. Earlier this year, Microsoft shocked the technology world by announcing that it was fully updating Edge, the successor to Internet Explorer.
Edge was built from scratch at Microsoft, but future versions will be based on Chromium code. It provides a framework for Google Chrome and many other privacy-oriented browsers like Vivaldi, Opera, and Brave.