THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has announced plans to end development on its Android version of Firefox, as it moves its efforts towards the experimental ‘Fenix'.
From this summer, Firefox for Android will be ‘complete' by the summer, with no new versions, before it moves to Extended Support, after which it will be ‘complete'.
That update will be version 68.0, which will land on July 9th.
From there, developers and resources will be transferred to its successor, the Fenix browser. But don't worry, Firefox 68 will still be around for a while yet:
"The goal of this plan is to provide users with a secure and supported legacy Firefox for Android product until Fenix has reached migration readiness, while minimizing our ongoing support costs. The expected outcome of the work outlined below is to not make any user-facing changes until their eventual migration to the new Fenix-based product."
In other words - Fenix isn't as advanced as FFfA yet, and Mozilla knows that, and won't be enforcing it on us just yet - the suggestion seems to be it's going to be nearer this time next year before that's even on the table.
Once Fenix is mature, Firefox will become End-of-Life.
As mentioned by gHacks, Mozilla notes that ‘Extended Support' shouldn't be misinterpreted as being connected to Enterprise functionality - it's just about keeping Firefox serviced with minimum effort whilst Fenix is brought up to speed.
Being open source, anyone can start using the fledgling Fenix right now by sideloading an .apk. From the summer, we'll start to see it appearing in the Google Play Store.
As ever, unfinished often means unstable and you certainly shouldn't be thinking of Fenix as your daily driver just yet.
Nevertheless, a quick fiddle (fnar) shows that Fenix will be signifiantly faster than its predecessor - answering one of the biggest bugbears that Firefox Mobile users have had.
The timing is excellent, with Google promising that users will soon be given an active choice between browsers after booting for the first time. μ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score