Recently, in the V100 release for Firefox Android, History has started showing up in the same area as top sites.
This new feature brings a similar experience from users on Firefox Desktop to Firefox Android. However, it also generated a great deal of confusion for users not expecting to see recent history in this area.
If you are an Android users and have experienced this change, what is your feedback?
This isn't something I ever saw on Firefox for Mac (but I don't have anything on my new tab page there).
I have shortcuts enabled on Android because favourites are so hard to get to (maybe that's the real question here - why even have shortcuts when favourites are a thing? If they were as accessible as on desktop, shortcuts would be redundant!)
I do not want history on my new tab page! That's why I turned off all the home page things related to history! Forcing history to turn up with requested items is just awful because it means I now can't have pinned sites. Literally every time I do some browsing, up pops new history items.
I just want my 3 static links to be easily accessible. Why is that so hard?
There is some additional alignment with desktop that may resolve some of the concerns
If there is other feedback that is not captured by these differences between desktop and mobile please let us know. Please keep in mind that we are working on unifying behavior across platforms so suggesting something that would be unique to mobile is unlikely to be implemented.
As a work around pinning 8 or 16 top sites will get a similar behavior to what was previously present.
feedback from this discussion about how people use shortcuts on mobile:
Interesting... the mobile client calls it "shortcuts" but you are calling it "top sites". The latter name makes more sense for what it is doing, but also tells me immediately that I want nothing to do with it - since I want no history items on my new tab page.
The extra controls you describe don't seem like they will help my current usage. Only a toggle to say "never display non-pinned shortcuts" would do that. I already "removed" all of the automatically added items but they just keep on coming back.
But as noted, I only use "shortcuts" on mobile because it lacks the favourites/bookmarks toolbar that the desktop client has. I would be far less concerned with the behaviour of "shortcuts" (ie. I would just turn the whole thing off) if I had another way to get direct access to bookmarks.
Thanks for explaining though, it does at least make sense why this has changed 🙂
As both a desktop and Android user I think the additional alignment measures mentioned above (collapsing top-level domains into one card, allowing the ability to dismiss specific cards/sites without clearing History, etc) are critical and would at least mitigate some of the complaints. It was/is extremely unclear to the user what is happening here, even as a heavy desktop user familiar with the Top Sites behavior there. Particularly when one first starts using v100 on Android and apparently doesn't have a lot of History affecting the displayed cards, you can wind up with a lot of shortcuts to search result pages, or 404s, or other such pages that read like buggy behavior (as on desktop, over time these coalesce into your actually most-visited sites, making it more clear why these are getting put under "top sites"; but you all should be looking to significantly shorten the time it takes to make that behavior clear)
While I appreciate the attempt to align behavior across desktop and mobile, I do also think/agree that this is revealing something about how the difference in Bookmark design on mobile affects how people use the Shortcuts/top sites. On desktop, one can always show the bookmarks toolbar or have a pane open by default, meaning the user's manually selected favorite sites are immediately, always one click away. On mobile/Android, Bookmarks are always at least two taps away (Settings then Bookmarks); thus folks started using the "pin to Top Sites' feature like they might use bookmarks on desktop.
Taking into account that Android/mobile-specific suggestions are apparently going to be frowned upon (which is frankly a bit bizarre - mobile and desktop use is just different, period, but, I will try to be constructive from that perspective), perhaps there could be a Homepage widget added for Bookmarks, analogous to the Recently Visited or Pocket widgets, something that one could turn off and on but would allow quick access to Bookmarks either on new mobile tabs OR on new desktop tabs even if one has the Bookmarks toolbar set to "Never show". Alternately you would need to figure out a different way of getting to the Bookmarks Toolbar on mobile, one that didn't involve multiple taps/clicks, but I'm not really sure how one could accomplish that without taking a significant, disruptive amount of screen space on mobile.
Hi, the new Firefox now has sites from your history on your homepage, even when recently visited it turned off, I would have thought I'd you have recently visited turned off you probably wouldn't want history sites also showing? This seems a pretty bad privacy setting that should have the option to have on our not depending on your preference? Regards James
Sorry, but this is very annoying indeed.
Quite apart from anything else, I use desktop Firefox on my PC, the latest version, and I have NO history entries on my homepage (and I don't want them) so saying this is to match the desktop version is nonsense!
It's a huge privacy issue as well, if someone else uses the Firefox installation on my phone I don't want them seeing what sites I've looked at in the past if they go to the homepage.
At least give us an option to switch this off. I just want the shortcuts to my most used sites (defined by me!) on my Android homepage, and nothing else!
Why do all browser developers seem to have this obsession with putting things you don't want on your homepage, especially when there's no option to hide them?!
This so much!!! I hate how the responses from devs so far seem like this is here to stay.
Clearly us plebians who use the browser everyday wouldn't and couldn't understand their big brain thinking.
I just want to customize my browser hiw I want since I am the one who will be using it.
Now i have to delete history EVERY TIME I use it
The problem for me is that the histories that show up on my mobile are mixed with history from desktop. For me, it's useless since I use mobile browser for different use case from my desktop. For example, I don't use a mobile browser to access work-related tool. So, showing work-related history on my mobile is no use for me.
We also got some negative and no positive reactions in the German Firefox support forum because these people like the shortcut feature but they want to control the content of their home screen - it's the first thing people see when they start Firefox - and not necessarily expose their history on the first screen. For these people the whole shortcut feature is now useless. Unfortunately I share this sentiment. As reaction to the change I had to completely disable the shortcuts. I used to have five shortcuts and I neither want to see my history nor I want to have more shortcuts on my home screen so it's not an option for me to fill the other spots with other websites.
In general I welcome changes that make Firefox on Android/iOS consistent with Firefox for desktop. In this case it was an unfortunate alignment. A separate checkbox in the settings for disabling the history shortcuts would be aweseome - and a great addition for the desktop Firefox as well!
You destroyed sync and password management. Giving us notice wasn't the correct thing to do. If you'd like to render someone's phone absolutely useless destroy their password management system. You guys apparently have no idea how many applications on a phone are actually powered through a browser. Kudo's for taking a tool that I encouraged others to use and turning it into the biggest flaming pile of partial functionality I've seen in a long long long time. This is almost as worse as what it was before the code-base was restructured from COM. 42 year old original user of Netscape here. Your current android browser is garbage.
An extremely bad decision made for the wrong reasons. If you wanted to align desktop and mobile behaviour, you should have changed the desktop behaviour instead.
Having a small set of pinned links on the home page of a device with a SMALL SCREEN is *useful*.
Not being able to get rid of the history is clutter, a privacy issue, and a mess for people who synchronize history across devices.
Same as everyone else really.
I don't want to see rows of icons showing my history. I'd just like to pin a number of sites to the new tab screen so that I can click on them and off we go. I know I can 'pin' certain historical pages, but I can't do that without the other history pages being shown.
As it was before was great - sadly, I suppose only option is to roll back? Would anyone know which version I should roll back to in order to remove this feature?
> However, it also generated a great deal of confusion
No, it didn't. It generated a great deal of NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.
Users expressing their displeasure with a bad change are not "confused". They know exactly what they want and can articulate it. Dismissing their opinions as "confusion" is disrespectful at best.
Haha so true only thing Im confused about is what were they thinking?!?!.
Seems the confusion is on the devs side. Wondering why no one likes their new annoying "feature"
I mean surely everyone loves tochave their history show up on their hompage and thus must enjoy having to delete history every 30 seconds.
I couldn't agree more!
It doesn't look as if they're going to remove or make optional this unnecessary and annoying feature anytime soon unfortunately. 😠
The privacy aspect worries me the most, I personally haven't got anything to hide, but on principle I really don't want anyone else seeing my recently visited sites if they look at my homepage!
How they can justify this is quite beyond me, it shouldn't be like this on the desktop browser either!
My homepage is actually customised with an extension on my desktop browser so it's not an issue there, but whether that's an option on the Android version I don't know.
This behavior has been bothering me since the release, glad I'm not the only one. Is there another way to request features improvements besides here? Or that is the best channel?
Please, put a toggle button to disable history mixing on homepage shortcut area, smartphone screens are small, sometimes less visual clutter is better.
This is the correct place for requesting new features and ideas for improvements. Just be sure to submit an idea here — and of course search first in case the idea has already been posted. If that's the case, vote for the idea and add your input. The more details you can provide, the better. This helps when our product teams review ideas for potential adoption.
Hope this helps!
It is terrible. I absolutely hate it and find it a literal slap in the face given how much firefox allows us to customize, but then THIS we can not...... I truly do not care about desktop and mobile syncing. The fact people thought it was a bug should tell you others feel the same as I do.
I have my firefox desktop customized how I want.
I wish I could customize firefox mobile how I want.
If the devs are going to insist on wasting their time with pointless arbitrary features such as this one.
Then please oh please could you waste your time and create a feature that turns this off. I truly can not think how you all thought this was a good idea. Why even allow us to pin sites if your just going to say "naww you know what you need to see every site u visted in the last minute here too"
I HAVE PINNED SITES FOR A REASON.
STOP SHAMING ME WITH MY SEARCH HISTORY
L O L
4TH browser ive tried and they muck it all up with this stupid "feature" that NO ONE wanted.
Things seem to have changed a bit on the latest version (106) in that you can now switch off the shortcuts on the homepage in the settings, but that switches everything off, and leaves it blank.
There appears to be no option to switch off the history icons, but not the pinned sites' icons.
This is better if you want a clean homepage, but does nothing to help those who want pinned sites, and only pinned sites, on their homepage, like it used to be!
Also, the icons have changed their look such that all my icon labels are now truncated, and of course there seems to be no way to change this back to how it was either!
Im done with firefox mobile this new 106 now makes the shortcuts fat ugly blocks that cut off the words now.
Literally can not find a good mobile browser that is secure and allows me to DO WHAT I WANT.
im going to give the brave browser a try again because im not sticking with a browser that constantly changes unnecessary things and refuses to allow me the freedom to customize.
I greatly dislike this feature. I know this is late, but I just updated the app today (hoping it would help odd slow page loads) and instead got my entire browsing history showing up on my homepage.
I dislike it so much that I uninstalled v106, found an older v90s from the Firefox downloads page, and installed that older version. If this must be an option, please have there be a toggle in the "Customize Homepage" settings. Make the "Show History" independent from "Show Pinned Sites".
I use Firefox on desktop, and honestly I had forgotten this was a similar annoyance I used to have. However, with desktop, there are more sites that I use regularly, and so I have all the slots filled with "pins" and therefore never see the annoying history.
On mobile, I only have two websites I want pinned, and therefore showing up, on my homepage. The rest I have nested in the bookmarks where they belong. If I need to see history, it is available in the specified history folder. I do not need nor do I want my history appearing on my homepage without my expressly pinning it.
I will not be updating the app from my v90s until either the homepage no longer shows history, or there is an appropriate toggle to remove it.
A bit late to the party, but not really. I was one of two people back in roughly April 2022 who were naive enough to think this was a bug: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1768070
I'm sorry, but if you're adamant about aligning desktop and mobile, you might first try making sure that every mobile device comes with a minimum 13 inch screen. Then moves like this would make more sense. Desktop and mobile will always be different, in terms of device specs, in terms of when and where they are used, etc. I don't understand why anybody thought cluttering a 5-inch screen with lots of unwanted icons was a good idea, and why it's been so hard to add an extra checkbox to the Settings or simply revert the behavior. I could rattle off several other similar decisions that have IMHO compromised the Firefox experience instead of enhance it, but will stay on topic.
Back in April I "upgraded" to the Iceraven browser, because at the the time the current build was based on a Firefox earlier than V100, and that fixed my home screen. Now Cloudflare (ugh) seems to have taken a dislike to Iceraven and I am struggling to find a Firefox derivative that both preserves the home screen and runs Cloudflare's JS correctly. I doubt there is such a beast and I now hate every browser on the planet.
From a user perspective, this new behavior is bewildering if you don't want to see your history on the "new tab" view. Before this change, you could control shortcuts and history separately. After this change, that capability is broken. I even reported the behavior as a bug last year: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1768070 . I'm honestly not sure how removing configurations that used to work can be considered a feature.
Ultimately, I found the new behavior so painful, I simply stopped using shortcuts altogether so I could turn off history on new tabs.
Im done with firefox mobile this new 106 now makes the shortcuts fat ugly blocks that cut off the words now.
Well at least they sorted out the labels on the icons. Having the labels too big to read fully added insult to injury! It's still beyond my understanding why they think it's a good idea to have your most recently visited sites on display for all to see on your homepage, with no way of hiding them! It's one of the worst privacy infringements I've ever seen. I don't care two hoots that it's like that on the desktop browser, it shouldn't be like that there either!