Mozilla’s all-new Firefox version based on completely rewritten code continues receiving enhancements before it’s ready to replace the company’s old Android browser later this year. After the relatively minor 5.1 release late last month, version 5.2 brings a few more substantial enhancements to the plate, making the browser more comfortable to use.
The most obvious visual change is the auto-hiding bottom toolbar. When you start scrolling down on a website, the bottom bar now automatically disappears and only reappears when you scroll up or tap a link. If you’re reading an article, you’ll also notice that the Reader Mode shortcut has been moved into the address bar for easier access. This Preview version also introduces the bottom sheet for tab selection we’ve previously covered — your open tabs now live there instead of right on the new tab page. If you tap and hold the tab selector button, you’ll see shortcuts for closing the current site or opening new tabs, just like in Google Chrome.
Left: Bottom sheet for tabs. Middle: Long-press menu on tab switcher. Right: Voice search.
Preview 5.2 additionally introduces voice input for search, accessible via a microphone icon when you tap the address bar. A pull-to-refresh gesture has also finally been added, but not in the spot you’d expect — it’s only available in the browsing history overview for now.
Thanks for trying out Firefox Preview 5.2.0! This release includes:
* Redesigned New Tabs Tray
* Support for voice input for search
* Various accessibility improvements
* Added support for opening pages in Reader Mode from the urlbar
* Improvements to the dynamic bottom toolbar
* Added quick contextual menu to tab switcher
* Added pull-to-refresh gesture to sync history
* Various bug and crash fixes
Unfortunately, the release exhibits a bug you might find more than annoying. When you set Firefox as your default browser and open an in-app link in a custom tab through it, some dead space at the top of the website will be your constant companion no matter where you put the toolbar. If you can’t stand that bug at all, consider going for the Firefox Beta instead for a while.
The dead space is your constant companion in custom tabs, no matter where you put the toolbar.
Firefox Preview 5.2 is already rolling out on the Play Store, but if it isn’t available to you yet, get it from APK Mirror.