Users absolutely hate the new Firefox web browser

(Image credit: Shutterstock / tanuha2001)

Mozilla is beginning to roll out a new version of its Firefox browser for Android devices and users have not been impressed so far.

As part of a phased transition, Firefox 79 was pushed to a selection of Android devices on August 20 and, with it, a host of bugs and unexpected UI changes.

Disgruntled users have since flooded the browser’s Google Play Store page with negative reviews, citing bare-bones settings, the lack of a clear back button and severely limited add-on support, among other grievances.

“I have used Firefox since before it was called Firefox. Since the update on Android yesterday, it has become unusable - it crashes every few minutes,” said one user.

“This is the worst ‘upgrade’ I’ve ever experienced,” added another, who claims to be abandoning ship in favor of rival browser Google Chrome.

Others praised improvements to the GUI, but were frustrated by changes to the web browser’s core functionalities.

Firefox for Android

The last full iteration of Firefox for Android was version 68, launched last year. In the interim, Mozilla has been working on a complete overhaul (referred to as project Fenix), which it began to roll out in beta and is now pushing out to all users as a stable build.

Firefox 79 is set to reach UK Firefox users today, while US counterparts can expect the update to land on August 27. It appears users will not be given the option to roll back to a previous version once the update has taken place.

Asked about the teething problems, Mozilla gestured towards challenges surrounding large-scale rollouts and the need to ensure its Android browser meets modern privacy standards.

“Rolling out an entirely new product to a large group of users is a complex process that can easily result in issues when executed too quickly. That’s why we decided to roll the new Firefox for Android out gradually in order to provide users with a positive transition experience,” said a Mozilla spokesperson.

“At Firefox, it’s our goal to enable users to be in control of their online experience while enjoying all the benefits of a modern, fast and secure browsing experience. That’s why we revamped Firefox for Android to be the most private mobile Firefox so far.”

The issues with the new Firefox build come just weeks after Mozilla announced it would lay off 250 staff as part of a post-pandemic reshuffle.

While Firefox will remain a core pillar of Mozilla’s business, the company’s privacy- and security-related products (e.g. Mozilla VPN) will take on newfound importance as the company shifts its focus to revenue-generating projects.

Via The Register

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.