Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I have been using Firefox on Android since 2013. It's been constantly improving. I am so glad that it exists so that I am not forced to use a browser (Chrome) that doesn't respect me or my privacy and has every incentive to fuck me over.

I used it in 2013 and found it constantly degrading with each update. They removed a major feature to reflow text to fit your screen nicely, worsened the UI, and other things I don't remember anymore. After using an old version for a while, I tried another browser, and holy crap that was 10 times faster as well as being customizable the way I was used to from Firefox desktop. Not open source, not as featureful (no add-ons), but that was so much better. Since then I switched to Lightning: even fewer features, but open source, very lightweight, and great UX.

Whenever I raised issues with Mozilla about things that degraded, it was always either talking to a brick wall or a wontfix. They made the decision based on one person complaining about it being the old way, implemented the change, and no matter that other people liked the old way, it wouldn't be changed back or made configurable.

I then tried to compile Firefox for Android myself and cherry pick only security updates, but that was enough of a pain in the ass that I gave up on it.

Interesting point about reflowing text: Why don't browsers reflow text on mobile when zooming the same way they do on the desktop? This is a mayor annoyance for me since, well, forever. As a visually impaired user, forcing me to swipe text left to right the whole time after I zoomed to a comfortable font size makes reading on smaller screens really bad.

And before you mention it, changing default font size in browser/OS doesn't really help, mostly makes things worse (Bad categories like "medium", "huge" instead of font size, page layouts breaking etc.)

Im using this add on on Firefox for Android: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/text-reflow-w.... Maybe it can help you. Be aware it's not perfect: >This add-on is my attempt to provide the "reflow" option for text in Firefox Android. Warning: It is very limited. It will only reflow one paragraph at a time. You will have to tap/click on every single paragraph that you want to reflow.

The current version of firefox for android works very well and doesn't feel noticeably different from chrome on a several year old phone.

The newest version mentioned in this article actually feels faster than chrome although I'm not crazy about the new ui it is usable without difficultly and a work in progress.

Have you tried other browsers? I must say that the effect has gotten smaller since I got my second Android phone about a year ago (yes, the first lasted 2013-2018), I think because the webview component itself just got more bulky, but it's still very noticeable how slow Fennec is (Firefox from F-Droid) compared to a bare webview browser.

Have you tried a new version of android Firefox recently?

Experiences from years ago aren't really relevant any more, as Firefox has gotten a lot of work done the last couple of years.

I still have Fennec (Firefox from F-Droid) installed, I didn't notice any major changes since I stopped using it. I use it when there is some web application that expects a modern browser and the webview can't handle it.

But then, I also didn't think 57 for desktop was a big update. For me, it made zero speed difference (Firefox has always been fast on my laptop), on Linux with vertical tabs there is almost zero UI difference, and the only new thing was having to throw out all add-ons with the bathwater. Somehow, it seems I always experience things differently from other people.

The one speed difference I noticed was during startup with 300+ tabs, otherwise my experience was the same as yours.

Watch carefully: Noone will actually commit to extension support in the new firefox for android. They're going to roll their own adblocker, probably with the same inferior capabilities as manifest v3, to try to assuage all the people who use uBlock, while leaving everyone else to rot.

Will it be continually "improving" when they drop extension support?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact