Mozilla brings big updates to Firefox on Android and iOS
In brief: Mozilla has brought some big changes to its mobile browsers. Most of these changes concern the way the browser organizes tabs and recent Internet activity. These updates are rolling out now, though some are Android-only for a while. This comes after Mozilla last month brought some more conventional browser functionality to its privacy-oriented Firefox Focus.
Mozilla said it wants to make tabs in mobile Firefox feel less cluttered, and make it easier for users to get back to whatever they had recently started reading or recently searched. To do this, mobile Firefox’s homepage has been reorganized with optional new sections below recently viewed pages.
The “Jump back in” feature places recently viewed, active tabs below the recent pages on the homepage. The most recently-saved bookmarks will also appear on the homepage.
Below that, a collection of recent searches may appear for Android users. This function should group searches and related pages together by topic. According to Mozilla, this could make it easier for users to recall everything they were looking at related to something they may have been researching. Mobile Firefox should retain each recent search topic for 14 days.
On Android, tabs that haven’t been opened in 14 days will be moved to an “inactive state,” hidden but not closed. iOS users should get this feature “in the coming months,” we’re told. Below all that is a feed of suggested new stories from Pocket. Android users can customize this feed to their area of interest, and Mozilla has promised that feature will come to iOS users later.
Related reading: Experimental Chrome feature ‘Journeys’ groups recent browsing history by topic for easier research
Mozilla last month also added shortcuts to Firefox Focus, which is its alternate mobile browser designed to block trackers, hide user information, and quickly delete browser history. As of now, Firefox Focus can pin up to four shortcuts on its home screen, request a desktop site, and turn off tracker blocking if it causes a website to stop working.