Android almost spoils you with web browser options. However, most users are left with any browser that comes preloaded on their phones. Almost all phone manufacturers are developing a mobile web browser and integrating it with their Android skin. So far, Google Chrome is leading the way as it comes pre-installed on almost every Android phone. However, Firefox is trying to threaten Chrome with its new offerings.
Firefox, a former Chrome rival, is making headlines with a new browser on Android with a redesigned user interface, private functions and features. On the other hand, Google Chrome enjoys the benefit of the default state and tight integration into the Google ecosystem.
In this post, we’ll compare the new Firefox browser to Google Chrome. The comparison will include user interface, web engine, features, cross-platform availability, synchronization and more. Let’s start.
Cross platform availability
Cross-platform availability is essential in browser play. After all, you want to sync your web bookmarks, history, web passwords and extensions across platforms.
Google Chrome is available on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac. Firefox goes one step further. You can access Firefox browser on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and even Linux.
Download Firefox for Android
Phones are getting bigger, and the latest Android smartphones are coming up with superior appearance ratios. So it’s just practical to design the user interface with the menu and lower options. Unfortunately, Google Chrome continues to use the old user interface with the main options at the top.
The home screen consists of the home button in the upper left corner. Options like profile, tab switch and setup menu sit at the top. This makes browser navigation difficult. Rumors suggest that Google is testing new builds of Chrome Android with background browsing, but it’s far from ready for prime time.
Firefox has completely got the UI of its new Android browser completely right. It looks like Firefox’s design caters to tall screens that load phones and options like the search bar, tab switch and Settings, the rest at the bottom. Accessibility is spot-on here. You can also switch between tabs and enable private mode from the bottom menu.
Interestingly, Google Chrome doesn’t work with Android 10 dark mode while Firefox browser plays perfectly well with the dark theme. The good thing is that it’s a pure black theme and not the dark-and-middle gray theme.
Tab Switcher Menu
After several days or weeks, your web browser will be filled with dozens of tabs. The tab switch menu plays an important role in your browsing experience.
Google Chrome offers a large stack of cards as tabs. By hitting the tab switch menu, it will launch all tabs with the ability to add a new one, close all tabs, and more. Again, all options are at the top, making it difficult to navigate between open tabs.
Firefox’s tab switch is one of the best I’ve seen. You can click on the tab switcher menu and take a look at the open tabs from the bottom menu.
Web-Engine and performance
For years, I’ve experienced scrolling issues with Firefox’s Android browser. Fortunately, Mozilla has fixed this issue in the latest version of Firefox for Android. Also, it runs the new GeckoView rendering engine to render web pages. With that and a couple of new settings, Mozilla claims to follow the highest level of privacy and security available on the Android platform.
Google Chrome is using Chromium’s rendering engine to load web pages. I had no issues with scrolling or loading performance in Chrome. It’s right there with the Firefox browser.
Privacy features and options
Google Chrome offers two features to improve your browsing experience. The company has integrated the Google Translate option into the browser. Chrome will automatically be offered to translate the webpage when it detects the non-native language.
Chrome also provides a reader mode called ‘Simplified View’. It cleans all images, videos, ads and offers a simple user interface for reading. You can also change the look of the reading mode with different font styles and sizes. Other features include the ability to save data with Lite mode, sync browsing history, bookmark and more.
Firefox weighs heavily on privacy options. It offers privacy reporting to block cross-site tracking cookies and social trackers. Enhanced tracking protection is set to Default by default. You can change it to Strict or Custom too. I hope Google takes note of this and offers a similar solution to Chrome.
Firefox also offers a clean-looking reading mode. You can also change the font style and size, and use add-ons. For starters, you can use uBlock Origin to block ads, Dark Reader extension to force dark theme everywhere, and a couple of other extensions. Right now, the add-on options are limited, but it’s better than what Chrome offers.
Other features include the ability to sync tabs, bookmarks, history, collections (Firefox advanced bookmark manager) and more.
Google Chrome is offering Google News integration on the homepage. I’m not a fan of this but some might like the add-on.
Improve your browsing experience
After testing Opera, Samsung Internet, My browser and others, I kept coming back to Google Chrome. Did you do that too? The new Firefox browser is finally making some strong proposals to move away from the default browser on Android. By using both browsers simultaneously, I moved from Chrome to Firefox on Android. Is that you? Share your experience in the comments section below.