How To: 3 Reasons Firefox Quantum Is the Best Browser for Android

3 Reasons Firefox Quantum Is the Best Browser for Android

Mozilla's Firefox has always been a highly praised internet browser. Since it's open-source, users know what they're getting without any secrecy. It's got plenty of features that are unmatched by any of its competitors on mobile. However, speed and performance have always been a pain point for Firefox, but Mozilla went back to the drawing board to solve this problem with the release of Firefox Quantum.

Firefox Quantum is an updated version of Firefox that tackles its performance issues. Quantum consists of several components that optimize the Gecko rendering engine for better speed and performance. When you combine the improved speed with its abundance of features, Firefox easily won our comparison of the best browsers on the Play Store — and the one you need installed on your device right now.

1. Improved Performance

Firefox Quantum implements a number of changes that focus on enhancing overall performance. These include better multi-core CPU support, lower memory usage, and a faster interface. A future update (which is already available as a nightly) will incorporate the Servo rendering engine and further accelerate performance.

Photon UI is the upgraded interface that improved the look of the browser and made things quicker in general. With Photon, navigating throughout menus and tabs is much quicker than with the old UI.

Firefox's new Photon UI.

The changes brought to Firefox for Android have already made a significant positive impact on overall performance. Users will need to wait for the Servo engine update in a few months to obtain speeds faster than Chrome, but in its current state, Firefox Quantum offers competitive performance that most users will enjoy.

2. Ad Blocking & Other Privacy Measures

Firefox is an open-source browser with a dedication to privacy. Tracking protection is built in to safeguard users against corporations who use trackers to gather information about browsing habits. Firefox also allows users to automatically clear their browsing history and other personal data whenever they exit the browser.

A guest session feature allows you to lend your phone to someone without them having access to your saved logins or being able to view your browsing history. This will also keep any browsing data they accumulate from being stored with your own browsing data. Guest browsing data is automatically deleted upon exit.

However, Firefox's main advantage in the field of privacy and security comes from its use of extensions. Extensions are like miniature apps that can be added to your browser to alter its functionality, and they can be found in the "Add-ons" menu. Some of the best such tools available are ad blockers. Users can choose from a range of ad blocking extensions that not only removed pesky ads but protect users from vulnerabilities that are associated with adware.

There is also an entire category dedicated to privacy that includes many popular and trusted brands. Some examples are HTTPS Everywhere, Disconnect, and LastPass Password Manager. However, Firefox has much more besides the extensions previously mentioned.

(1) Some of the ad blockers available for Firefox. (2) Some of the privacy extensions available.

3. Extensions & Themes

Firefox's extensions are much more than privacy tools. Users can find a broad range of programs which will enhance their browsing experience — better bookmark organizers, RSS readers, and antivirus add-ons are just a few examples of features that users can add to Firefox. Despite the abundance of extensions for desktop browsers, these add-ons are a rare treat for Android with only a handful of browsers offering the service. However, no other browser on the Play Store offers has large of a collection as Firefox.

Themes are the other category of add-ons that help Firefox shine. Themes are created by users and will change elements of the user interface, including the address bar and the home screen. Themes allow users to personalize the look of their browser and change its the default view, which sometimes isn't the most appealing.

When you combine these elements, Firefox offers an extensive list of features with fast performance. Very few browsers offer extensions, and no other browser on the Play Store can match its variety or its amount. With Quantum's improved performance and the upcoming Servo improvements, Firefox is now the best browser available and should be every Android users' default browser.

Cover image and screenshots by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

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