Elias Pelcastre

You can try Firefox OS on your Android smartphone

Firefox released a beta of its mobile OS for Android devices. I decided to install it on my Moto G 2013 to tell you if it´s a wise decision to try the third-party app on your Android smartphone.

As a third party app, Firefox OS is not currently available in the Play Store. To install it, you need to download the APK file and enable the “Unknown sources” option on the Security tab of your Android settings – I recommend you turn it back off once you install Firefox OS.

You won´t see a Firefox OS app icon on your Home; instead, you will have to set Firefox OS as your launcher. You can try it for a while, or set it as the default option (you can go back to your previous launcher in the Settings´Home tab.)

Firefox OS will load, and present you with a home with large app icons, as well as a universal search bar and a second screen where you can pin your favorite websites.

The search bar enables you to look for websites and apps, but when I typed in “Spotify”, Firefox didn´t throw any app recommendations. Firefox says on its official OS page that you can switch between recent apps by swiping from right to left with your finger inside an app, something that didn’t happen either.

You can only pin a website to the second Home screen by accessing a site within Firefox OS´ search bar. Tap on the three-dotted button on the top right side of the browser, and select “Pin.”

Firefox OS crashed several times during my time with the launcher. I have to say it didn´t offer anything crucially useful to make me keep it installed on my Moto G. (I still prefer Google Launcher and its Now suggestions.)

Privacy is at the heart of Firefox OS, as it stops websites and apps tracking every one of your moves and enhance private browsing with a dedicated section in the Settings app. Bigger icons make identifying and tapping on apps a lot easier, and a vertical Home with endless scrolling helps to keep multiple windows open to a minimum.

But the launcher´s continuous instability didn´t make the case for keeping the launcher installed. Hopefully, that will change soon.

You can download Firefox here directly from the following link, and make sure you leave your thoughts in the comment section.

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