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About Android Firefox: keyboard shortcuts and input devices, user agent switch and more.

Barkuti
Making moves

The following message was submitted to firefox-android-feedback@mozilla.com some days ago, although I forgot to explicitly mention that I was speaking about Android Firefox -org.mozilla.firefox- in the first place. For this reason I am resubmitting the message, corrected and restructured, as it is here:

Dear Firefox development team,

I've been testing Android Firefox 121.1.0 lately, and I have to agree that it has improved a lot from what it was long ago. This, along with the now respectable amount of extensions Firefox has, makes it a more or less useable browser. However, before I pinpoint a few things which certainly need to improve or must change, bear in mind that Android is an operating system which, although it is primarily used in smartphones and tablets, it is also used in devices WITHOUT TOUCH SCREEN or without making use of touchscreens; do you understand? Examples of this are running Firefox in an Android TV box device (tested it in one) or in an Orange Pi 5, using an external keyboard with trackpad or a classic keyboard and mouse as input devices. This doesn't excludes using a keyboard and mouse in a smartphone or tablet, something which for testing purposes is also valid.
Having said the above:

In Android the secondary mouse button is assigned to the “back” navigation function by default; so, without touch screen the “right click” menu function has to be done with a long press with the left mouse button. This is fortunately working in Firefox (thank you!), but when I choose “open in a new tab” there's simply too little time to tap on the emerging notification to switch to the new tab (remember: no touch screen, and likely only a small or tiny trackpad or mouse pad to move the mouse pointer). What I mean with this is that moving the onscreen mouse pointer isn't a super snappy thing, and is perceptibly slower than moving a finger across the surface of a small screen. For this reason tab switching is way more hurdlesome (see the paragraph just below), something which wouldn't be much of an issue if Android Firefox were to support key combinations' input from keyboards, i.e. keyboard shortcuts.
As far as I have tested, though, Android Firefox is not designed to work with keyboards at all! This is a real shame, as you could grab the source code which makes this possible in desktop Firefox and use it with Android Firefox very easily. Please do so and/or implement keyboard shortcuts, and remember to think in terms of keyboard input or related input devices, without making any distinctions between internal (software) or external keyboards or input devices; what I mean to say is that shortcuts must work whether they are done in an external or in a software keyboard. This may sound strange, weird or unnecessary to say, but there is a reason to it: in the Android TV box I tested the system used the “Virtual.kcm” key character map file for external keyboards instead of the more appropiate “Generic.kcm” file, and also the only way to hide the onscreen keyboard was to install a null software keyboard like Null Keyboard -com.wparam.nullkeyboard- or External Keyboard Helper -com.apedroid.hwkeyboardhelper-. Looks like the morons who made its firmware couldn't realize that its users would sooner or later going to plug an external keyboard to the box.
Keyboard shortcuts which Android Firefox should work with are documented in many places; there's a useful example at 47 Keyboard Shortcuts That Work in All Web Browsers @ How-To Geek and a slightly more detailed one at https://ncculaw.libguides.nccu.edu/c.php?g=998832&p=9398314. I hope you get the idea; and please also add a Ctrl + Esc key shortcut to open the browser's menu if you don't mind
Certain onscreen keyboards feature control or special keys, keyboards like Hacker's Keyboard -org.pocketworkstation.pckeyboard- or Unexpected Keyboard -juloo.keyboard2-; keyboard shortcuts may also be tested with them to the extent it is possible.

Being able to switch the tab view between list and grid arrangements is nice, BUT the browser does not feature a list of small tabs on top from which I can select with a click or tap, so it's A LOT harder to switch between tabs when you are using a mousepad or a mouse, as having to hold down the mouse button over the address bar while doing ample movements sideways is awkward. So, an option to have actual tabs on top of each opened page is REALLY welcome (besides the usual Ctrl + Tab and Ctrl + Shift + Tab shortcuts to go forward and backward among the tabs which must be implemented, of course).

About the user agent. I seriously suggest making the user agent switch (the “Desktop site” switch in the menu) a locking or latch on switch. There are certain sites (like aliexpress.com) which only work properly in desktop mode or with a desktop user agent (or else you get a @#$% mobile version), and when this happens having to engage the switch in the menu for each and every tab (which could be lots of tabs) is FU CKING ANNOYING. There's also people like me which browse in desktop mode or with desktop user agent by default, so for me not having a latch on switch or an intelligent switch which remembers the used setting per site is even more annoying. FIX THIS, please. In the meantime if you know of some browser extension to switch or customize the user agent please let me know.
Hint: a couple browsers which work well in this respect are Opera -com.opera.browser- and Kiwi -com.kiwibrowser.browser- with “Desktop mode by default” enabled in accessibility (for touchscreen-less systems/devices they are broken for other reason, though).

Last but not least, animations. Animations slow down the browser and hamper the user's experience. I know that Android OSes come with stupid animations enabled by default, but they can be disabled using Developer Options. In your browser there is no freaking choice, something which SUCKS BIG TIME. Do you get it? I hope so.


Kind regards,
Salvador

P.S.: Every time I tap on this edit box (I am posting using my smartphone) or use the link button to input a link, the stupid code in this webpage scrolls up and I end up out of context, looking at the search bar instead of here. I don't think I need to  say that this is retarded and must be fixed. Thank you.

P.S.2: The “Subject” lenght is too small at just 100 characters maximum. 😒

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