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Firefox may get tablet UI after all

It's still unknown when Firefox's UI will be optimized for tablets.
By
January 26, 2024
Firefox stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Mozilla is reportedly working on tablet UI for Firefox.
  • Mozilla’s response to a user review suggested that the Firefox team was not currently working on tablet UI.
  • Tablet UI is not a high priority for the company, but it does have a prototype that’s available.

Last week, multiple outlets — including our own — reported that tablet UI won’t be coming to Firefox anytime soon. While tablet UI is still likely a ways away for the browser, it appears Mozilla has at least been working on it.

Before we go any further, let’s first explain the confusion surrounding the issue. Earlier this month, a Mozilla representative responded to a Google Play Store user review that complained about a lack of tablet UI. The company replied by stating the following:

The Firefox for Android team would love to invest more in optimizing the browser for tablet devices. At this time, however, the team’s focus is directed towards higher priority items on the product roadmap. We do hope to revist this with time and resources permitting.

The response suggests that tablet UI is a low priority for the team and it’s not focused on that at the moment. However, it has been discovered the Firefox team has already begun work on tablet UI and could resume development soon.

As spotted by web developer Sören Hentzschel, a Mozilla employee commented on Bugzilla two months ago about the company’s work on a more robust tablet experience. The employee also mentions making more progress in the first half of 2024.

unfortunately not much progress on this, yet. We’ve been revitalizing our app-wide design system, though, and are hoping to use that to make more concrete progress on more robust tablet behavior in H1 2024.

In addition to the comment, Hentzschel also discovered a first-draft prototype on Github that adds a tab bar to the tablet version of Firefox. You can see an example of it in action in the video Hentzschel created below.

As mentioned earlier, tablet UI for Firefox is still likely a ways away. But this information shows that it may not be as far away as previously thought.

In related news, Firefox for Android recently received a bevy of extensions, over 450 to be exact. And more extensions should become available for Android now that a wider user base can demand the same from the extension developer.