Firefox for Android switches to Geckoview


Firefox. (Graphic: Mozilla)

Mozilla has announced that it plans to switch to its own rendering engine Geckoview in Firefox for Android in the course of the first half of 2020. It starts with the nightly build, which will be rolled out on January 21.

Mozilla wants to emancipate itself from Android’s standard engine and brings Gecko, the rendering engine of the Firefox Quantum, to the smartphone as an Android library called Geckoview. The Firefox Klar Geckoview privacy browser has been used so far. Now the library, which will also be available to third-party developers for their respective apps with Webview, should also find its way into the regular Firefox for Android.

Road to mainstream: Geckoview is coming by the middle of the year

From January 21, 2020, Mozilla will switch the nightly builds of the smartphone browser to Geckoview after six months of successful testing. In spring Geckoview should then also be in the beta versions and later, but still in the first half of 2020 in the final version. Mozilla writes this in a detailed blog post.

According to Mozilla, users who are already on the road with the nightly builds should notice a significant difference in behavior and appearance with the change. Geckoview is said to be much faster and the browser as a whole is to be equipped with a more modern UI and additional navigation elements.

Strict Mode strictly blocks tracking attempts

Functionally, the Mozilla developers have opted for the stricter implementation of the expanded tracking protection as the default setting. This so-called strict mode blocks most trackers and tracking cookies and browser fingerprinting, but can also cause some pages to stop working properly. Users can proactively switch to the so-called standard mode, which blocks less strictly.

According to Mozilla, the extremely positive feedback on the experimental browser Firefox Preview contributed to the decision to switch the regular Firefox to Geckoview. As with desktop Firefox, the upcoming Firefox for Android will not be welcomed with everyone.

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