Chrome may be the daddy of mobile browsers, but Firefox is right up there in second place. Firefox for Android doesn’t just mimic Chrome either, and it packs plenty of features that are truly unique (and some that copy Chrome too). Here’s our list of Firefox for Android tips and tricks – some of which may just sway you to jump ship.
Mirror Firefox onto Chromecast
Chrome is made by Google and basically passed its name down to the Chromecast, but that doesn’t mean other browsers can’t work with Google’s popular streaming stick. As of Firefox 34 for Android, you can mirror specific tabs in Firefox to your Chromecast, displaying them on another (probably bigger) screen in real-time.
- Open Firefox and go to the site you want to mirror
- Tap the Firefox menu at the top right corner of Firefox.
- Tap Tools > Mirror tab
- On the ‘Send to Device’ prompt, tap the name of your Chromecast device.
- To stop mirroring, tap the Firefox Menu button > Stop Mirror
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Keep track of your downloaded files
Do you ever find that you download files onto your Android device, only for them to disappear forever into some mysterious folder? Of course, it helps to have an app like File Manager on your device, but most Android browsers don’t offer a simple download manager like you find on PCs. Well, Firefox does, making it easy to track the things you download to your device. Doing this is simple – just open Firefox, tap the Menu button > Tools > Downloads too.
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Add articles to your Reading List
If you’re reading articles on your smartphone, chances are you’re on the go somewhere and you won’t be able to finish it in one sitting – no matter how riveting a read it is. Mozilla has thought of this, and using Firefox for Android you can quickly save articles to read later. First, Firefox has to recognize the article you’re reading. If it’s done this, a small book icon will appear on the right side of the address bar.
- Tap the book icon in the address bar so it turns orange. This will convert the article into Reader Mode
- Tap anywhere in the article, and a menu will appear at the bottom. Tap the book icon with a ‘+’ next to it to add the article to your Reading List.
- Next, tap the address bar, then swipe left until you reach your reading list. All your added articles will be listed here.
- To remove an article from your Reading List, tap and hold its entry in the list, then tap Remove.
Sync your data between devices
While syncing your browser between devices may be something you’re familiar with if you’ve used Chrome, fewer people realize that you can also do this in Firefox. First, you need to create a Firefox account.
- To create a Firefox account using your Android device, tap the address bar in Firefox, swipe right until you reach ‘Synced Tabs’, then tap ‘Get started’ and follow the instructions.
- Once your account is created, open Firefox on your PC, click the Menu button > Sign in to sync then enter your details to sign in and choose the data you’d like to sync.
- To access synced tabs on your Android device, tap the address bar and swipe right until you reach ‘Synced Tabs’. All your synced tabs will now appear here.
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Boost your privacy on Firefox
One definite advantage Firefox holds over Chrome is in the privacy department. While Google aims to get its hands on as much of your data as possible to boost its advertising revenue, Firefox has stood by its privacy principles, and has plenty of features that will keep you safe from tracking.
- Open Firefox, Tap the Firefox Menu button > Settings > Privacy
- To get Firefox to send ‘Do not track’ requests to websites, tap the ‘Do no track’ tickbox.
- You can also get Firefox to ask if you want to wipe some or all of your browsing history each time you end a session. To do this, tap the ‘Clear on exit’ box in the Privacy section.
What’s your favorite Firefox for Android tip? Let us know in the comments below.
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