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Firefox discontinued on F-Droid - Alternatives?

Hi all,
My wife is experiencing issues with Firefox for a while now on her FP1. It just disappears sometimes, therefore some pages cannot be displayed, either. So in a first step I wanted to downgrade it using F-Droid but I had to find out that Firefox is about to disappear from there soon, so the latest version there is already a few months old. Older thus than what I was looking for.
The favorite browser on my FP2, Lightning depends on the built-in browser engine which is pretty much outdated and insecure on FP1. So what are good alternatives for that platform?
Thanks,
Martin

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Hello Martin,
If you want your wife to continue to use the Firefox, you could use the FFUpdater from the F-Droid store, a simple App to download the latest version of Firefox for Android directly from Mozilla.
Another option could be to use the IceCatMobile, which is just a rebranded Version of Firefox ESR, but it also seems to be a little outdated.
Regards,
Sebastian

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On F-Droid you have also the webbrowser LIghtning. I have good experiences with Lightning.

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You can download any official release of Firefox from ftp.mozilla.org.
Latest multilanguage, for example, lives here: https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/54.0b8/android-api-15/multi/

Another option, if your wife still experiencing troubles with Fx, is to use official builds of Chromium for Android. There are apps on F-Droid to make this easier.

Hope Firefox works, anyway, because it’s better for privacy reasons (and supports extensions, unlike Chromium)

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IceCatMobile is based on the LTS (Long-term support) version of Firefox. It receives important security fixes, but some less important features might not be included until the next Fx-LTS release.

PS: ✏ Constructive tips for improved security for the FP1(U)

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Thanks all for your input. We haven’t had time to check the alternatives yet but will do that soon. Since @Lidwien recommends the Lightning Browser: I thought that this browser uses the built-in browser engine and therefore is just as outdated as the stock browser is, no matter how up to date the user interface is. Am I wrong with that assumption? At least howsmyssl.com failed with Lightning on the FP1.

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You’re not, you’re right.

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Shouldn’t the update function of Firefox do the trick, once it is installed?

Still available on F-droid is the privacy oriented version of Firefox “Firefox Klar” (the english version is called Firefox Focus):
https://f-droid.org/packages/org.mozilla.klar/
More about that version of Firefox on the mozilla homepage (de / en):


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The update function is not included in the Android version of Firefox (at least not in stable builds).

PS.: Firefox Klar requires Android 5 or higher (for whatever reason) and thus doesn’t work on FP1.

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Yeah, you’re right of course.

Just happened now to realise, that Firefox Nightly which is what I have installed (was Aurora before) is a pre-beta version of Firefox. (https://wiki.mozilla.org/Nightly).
As I use this browser since I got my FP1 without ever having any issues, I never got the impression to not have a stable version. But I am no power user (no browser games or the like), maybe that serves as an explanation.

I am really surprised to hear, that the stable android version does not feature an update function. That is really a convenient part of Nightly; although a pre-beta obviously might have more need for it.

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The reason is that Firefox Klar uses the Chrome/Android System WebView.

This is for technical reasons and will change in the future.

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It still works for me (FP2 Lineage) with WebView disabled (and no Chrome installed), just like other FF derivatives I use(d before).

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Lineage comes with it’s own Chromium based WebView, right?

Or is Firefox Klar from f-droid different from the version in the Play Store?

No idea, but the only (hidden sytsem) app with “webview” in it’s name is disabled on my FP2, as I always did it.

Could be. The description only says that it’s different from the english version Firefox Focus, which depends on G%§$e Services.

This might sound a bit of topic, but I suppose several of you would like to avoid Google as much as possible, even it’s rendering engine(s) (the part of a browser making beautiful websites of HTML code).

To check which engine your browser actually use, go to http://www.whatsmybrowser.org/ and check the full user agent.

For Firefox Focus (Klar is Germany) on my FP2 (with Google Services), it reads

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Klar/1.1 Chrome/59.0.3071.125 Mobile Safari/537.36

For Firefox, the normal version, it’s

Mozilla/5.0 (Android 6.0.1; Mobile; rv:54.0) Gecko/54.0 Firefox/54.0

The important part is Chrome/59 and Gecko/54, Chrome being the WebView and Gecko Firefox own rendering engine.

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Fennec F-Droid is back!!! :smiley: :heart_eyes:

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I hope it will be updated regularly so I can throw away FFUpdater… A pain in the ass this way of updating an app is.

Somebody created an inofficial repository with Mozilla’s version of Firefox. This repository can be simply added to F-Droid.

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“Someone” means the renowned DAVdroid developer, :wink:

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YEAH, Austrian developers FTW! :smiley:

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