At the end of June 2019, Mozilla introduced a new variant of its browser on Android, Firefox Preview. Presented as the counterpart of the small Firefox Quantum revolution on mobile, this version was then called to replace the stable branch of Firefox on Android “Later in the year”. With a few months behind the original schedule, it's now done.
On the Play Store, in particular, the browser went to version 79.0.5, making the transition to the in-house GeckoView engine. The functions and interface of Firefox Preview have also been taken over, so Mozilla is talking about a "new beginning" on Android and nicknamed this version Firefox Daylight (daylight, dawn).
On the interface side, Mozilla promises more flexibility and ease of use compared to what the stable branch offered so far. Concretely, users can now define in one click whether they wish to have the address bar at the top or at the bottom of the screen, whether they prefer the browser to be on a white background or on a black background (dark fashion, which saves energy with an oled type screen), enjoy video content while surfing thanks to the player overlay (picture-in-picture) or even organize their favorites more easily thanks to a new tool. The extensions are also there, but as announced last February, the choice is very limited for this official launch. Mozilla promises to work on the issue.
Of course, Firefox would only be a shadow of itself if privacy wasn't one of its main arguments. With Firefox Daylight, and especially the switch to GeckoView, the browser offers enhanced protection against all the snitches that follow the actions of Internet users. Active by default (standard mode), it blocks the most intrusive devices upon installation, knowing that it is possible to switch to a strict mode or to push the configuration significantly further with a customization of the trackers to block. At the same time, it is also possible to open the browser directly in private browsing mode via a simple shortcut. Mozilla indicates to have drawn on Firefox Focus to improve its tools intended to guarantee more discretion.
As is customary in the browser market, the arrival of Firefox for Android based on GeckoView comes with the promise of a gain in speed, even if Mozilla focuses more on respect for privacy and user experience, without forgetting to underline its independence vis-à-vis Blink, the Google engine that notably powers Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
To test the new Firefox Daylight, nothing could be simpler: just go to the Play Store with a device with at least Android 5.0. And if Firefox is already installed and automatic updates activated, the switch should take place automatically.