Firefox is important to me and I hope it is important to you. Even if you do not use the browser, there is value in having an open source browser available that isn't based on WebKit or a fork of it (Blink), as so many are nowadays.
Variety is the spice of life, and having only one browser engine is not only sad, but dangerous; competition drives innovation.
If you are an Android user, you probably use Chrome or the stock Android browser and that is OK; both of those browsers are great. With that said, some people, such as myself, prefer Mozilla's Firefox. It is fast, buttery smooth and offers plugins.
Yesterday, Mozilla announced that Firefox for Android has been downloaded 100 million times. Whoa.
"We're proud to share that Firefox for Android has now been downloaded more than 100 million times from Google Play, and has always been consistently rated by users with more than 4.0 stars. From customisation, easy search settings and adaptive sharing, to privacy coaching and home panel add-ons, we've built an experience that goes beyond browsing, to offer users greater flexibility and control over their online lives", says Mozilla.
The company further explains, "Mozilla created Firefox for Android to give you the ability to take the power of Firefox everywhere and we wouldn’t be where we are today without your support. Thank you to those who have made our Android experience possible and to our users that continue to help us bring new features to more people everyday".
Mozilla shares the following Firefox for Android Milestones
- 29 March, 2011: Firefox for Android is launched, complete with Firefox Sync to connect Firefox experience across devices and platforms.
- 26 June, 2012: Firefox for Android debuts dynamic upgrade for faster Web access and Do Not Track features for added privacy.
- 19 February, 2013: Firefox for Android introduces support for lightweight themes to offer greater browser personalisation.
- 17 September, 2013: Firefox for Android introduces QuickShare to give you more options when sharing your favourite Web content across social networks.
- 29 October, 2013: Firefox for Android becomes the first to introduce Guest Browsing to give you additional privacy features.
- 7 November, 2013: Firefox for Android pre-installed on Kobo Arc Tablets and GIGABYTE GSmart Simba SX1 smartphones.
- 10 December, 2013: Firefox for Android introduces new Top Sites, History, Bookmarks and Reading List swipeable home screen panels, giving you easier access to the Web content you want to see.
- 14 October, 2014: Mozilla introduces a quick and easy way to send videos from Firefox for Android straight to your streaming-enabled TV via Roku and Chromecast devices.
- 10 November, 2014: Mozilla adds DuckDuckGo as a pre-installed search option.
- 9 April, 2015: Firefox for Android surpasses 100 million downloads.
Keep in mind, this does not mean 100 million people have downloaded the mobile browser. Hell, it doesn't even indicate 100 million devices. What it does mean is quite literal - 100 million downloads from Google Play.
Keep in mind, not all devices or users have Google Play access, so there are APK downloads and installs that aren't even being tallied here; the overall download number is higher.
No matter how you interpret it, however, 100 million of anything from anywhere is a big deal, and Mozilla deserves major kudos.
Mozilla does not have the advantage of having Firefox pre-loaded on Android devices; users have to actively seek it out. This milestone proves that people still look for and download Firefox, and that is worth celebrating.