Firefox for iOS (version 34) is a step backward

Not sure if this is the right category for iOS related posts, but here goes.

There are already a few posts about the disappointing update to the desktop version (v89). But, the desktop update pales in comparison to the iOS update when it comes to regression.

The changes are so counterintuitive that I wonder if the developers even spent any time using the updated version of the app. The disappointment was enough for me to come here, create an account and write a first-time post.

So, these are the things that irked me the most:

  1. When I open a new tab now, the search bar becomes automatically active and the keyboard pops up. This is so frustrating. I mean, why do you assume that I want to search something when I open a new tab? Most of the time, I am just accessing my favourite sites which are already available to me with a single tap. This keyboard popup is just annoying. If I want to search for something, I have no issues with tapping the search bar and using it. I can totally live with that. No need to automatically do it for me by default.

    And now the real annoyance, the search bar activation makes the menu inaccessible to me. If I want to access my bookmarks or history, this needs an additional tap. And this additional tap needs to be at the top left corner where there is a backward arrow that disables the search and brings the app to a normal state where I can access everything. If the tap is anywhere else that is an empty space, nothing happens, can’t see the menu. If I swipe and bring the keyboard down, I still can’t see the menu! To see the menu, I definitely have to tap on that backward arrow!

    Sure, over time, I might get used to this. Maybe, maybe not. But, why make this change at all? It was fine before as it was. I opened a new tab and everything was accessible to me. The search bar, the menu and my favourite sites. Now, it’s an ugly mess with the keyboard popping up and the menu becoming inaccessible.

  2. The menu popup is just weird. For me, it looks like someone just felt lazy and did not really want to put in any kind of effort to design a menu suited for mobile and just decided to plonk a desktop-style menu somewhere on the screen. It’s not aligned to the left or the right or the center. It’s just…somewhere, even partially encroaching the URL bar. In the earlier version, the menu popped up to cover the full-width of the screen and maybe about 40% of the vertical size of the screen and I think you could pull it up if you wanted to see more options. I don’t really remember, but it just felt natural and did not look out of place. The new one is just the opposite.

I don’t want to be too negative. I guess there are some positive changes. One that comes to my mind is that it is a bit easier to access the synced tabs now. But the two points that I mentioned above just ruin the entire experience because they are so important. Overall, I wish I could get the previous version back.

I had been happy with Firefox so far, both with the desktop version and the mobile version. I am not too picky. But, these recent changes (even with the desktop version) just did not do the job for me.

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this definitely look like a bug


bug reported,

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