Retiring Mozilla Stumbler

The Mozilla Stumbler Android app launched in 2013, as the first data collector for the Mozilla Location Service. Thank you to the thousands of users who downloaded the application, and contributed millions of observations to build the database.

In February 2021, we plan to remove Mozilla Stumbler from the Google Play Store and the F-Droid store, and to retire the Mozilla Stumbler codebase.

Mozilla Stumbler has several issues that frustrate new and existing users. The application no longer works with Android 10 and 11, failing to upload new contributions. The maps no longer work, so location contributions are not displayed. The product has not had an Android developer for several years, and the code has not kept up with modern Android development tools and practices.

Stumblers are a great source of location data, and MLS will miss the contributions from Mozilla Stumbler users. Adam Zamojski’s Tower Collector is in active development, and can submit cell towers to MLS. An independent Android developer could create a new stumbler, or modify an existing stumbler, to submit WiFi and Bluetooth data using the geosubmit API.

Mozilla continues to support and staff the Mozilla Location Service (MLS), which is used in Firefox to determine the user’s region for search defaults. MLS is also used for the HTML Geolocation API in Firefox Nightly and Beta when OS-level geolocation is unavailable. The MLS team will monitor the effect of losing stumbling sources, and explore new ways to use the data sources we have.

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