Mozilla introduces a major update to the Firefox web browser for Android devices. In fact, Firefox 79 is the first stable release since Firefox 68 was released last summer, so it includes one-year updates.
The user interface has changed with the use of a tab tray at the bottom of the screen instead of at the top and support for grouping multiple tabs into “groups”. There is support for performing a voice search from the address bar. Mozilla’s enhanced tracking protection is set to the strict mode by default.
But if you are using an older version of Firefox for Android and you are using third-party plugin support, you may want to disable automatic updates … because Firefox 79 only supports a few plugins.
In fact, as Android Police points out, at the end of July 2020, only 9 plugins are supported:
- The Dark Reader
- HTTPS everywhere
- NoScript Security Suite
- Privacy Badger
- Possibility of privacy
- Photo search
- The origin of Block
- High Definition YouTube
Mozilla says more plug-ins should be supported in the future. But Firefox 68 literally supports thousands of third-party plug-ins, which means that “updating” to the latest version of Firefox can kill the functionality of some users.
This is not a big surprise to people who have been observing the development of an open-source web browser. Mozilla has tested many of the changes included in Firefox 79 in Firefox Preview and Beta browsers that were available as separate downloads. But now that these changes have been incorporated into the stable release of Firefox, this means that more users are likely to get all the new features … and to have support for severely restricted extensions and other add-ons.
If you want to avoid automatic updating, you can follow our guide to disable automatic updates for Android apps.