Some years ago, before I became a contributor to Mozilla, there was an initiative that called for users to become a “test pilot” and help build and support what we know today as the mobile versions of Firefox. Today I am asking you to dust off your flying jacket, put on your goggles (or fancy aviator shades) and take to the skies as we help make the mobile web even more awesome.
The mobile team has been working hard on a new infrastructure that will help Mozilla build new mobile apps. This infrastructure is made up of a number of components (such as GeckoView, Glean and a new Firefox Accounts implementation) that have been brought together in a Reference Browser. This is NOT a new end product, it is a collection of parts, some or all of which may be used to create web browsers for different platforms. But before we can use them, we need to make sure they all work together in one place.
As I have mentioned, this is not a finished or branded product, it is a test bed of ideas and functions, a technology preview. Your input, telemetry and feedback and bug reports are vital to help us make awesome mobile products using the components in this app. As long as your device is using Android 5 or above and you can install apps from the Google Play store, we would really appreciate your help.
We are reasonably certain your personal data is safe, but I recommend making sure you still have a copy of bookmarks and passwords in another copy of Firefox…just in case! If you compare Beta builds to a walk in the park and eat Nightly builds for breakfast, I think you are going to really like this new challenge.
To get the Reference Browser on your phone, follow these two steps:
- Visit https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mozilla-reference-browser and join the Google Group
- Visit https://play.google.com/apps/testing/org.mozilla.reference.browser on your phone to join the test program and to install the app
Make sure you use the same Google account for both steps. You can use your work or personal account.
Please file the bugs you find as new issues at https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/reference-browser/issues/new.
If you have any general feedback or want to chat about various features, please continue the conversation as replies in this Discourse thread.
Make sure you give us much information as possible including the Android version, the application version, whether you are using a phone or a tablet, the URL you were viewing, what you were trying to do and what happened (including details of any error messages).
Whether you are doing this on your own, or as a local Mozilla community (maybe at your next community meeting?), your help is vital in helping us build the next generation of mobile Firefox applications.