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Best download source for non-Play Store users

  • 6 uphendule
  • 1 inale nkinga
  • 13 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu Seburo

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Does Mozilla have an approved way of getting Firefox for Android users who have a build without the Play Store? For example, /e/ or other flavours of degoogled LineageOS?

Previously (for example, when this question was asked in 2017: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1164894) the APKs were available from mozilla.org.

However that no longer seems to be the case with v79 and higher releases. What's the recommended way for non-Play Store users to get the latest Firefox?

All Replies (6)

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Hi

Firefox for Android is only released through the Google Play store.

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It's also the case though that:

1) The APKs are available on APKMirror.

2) GitHub has the source and build instructions, so you can build your own.

I think what you say is correct though, regarding the "official" Mozilla policy.

Was a statement made about this by Mozilla explaining the rationale? It's clearly a change (because previously the APKs could be downloaded directly from mozilla.org) and it's an impactful one.

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Hi

We do do not supply .apk to other download sites and they would not get important security and stability updates. Yes you can build you own, but that is not a finished build and may have unresolved issues.

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Seburo said

Hi We do do not supply .apk to other download sites and they would not get important security and stability updates. Yes you can build you own, but that is not a finished build and may have unresolved issues.

Clearly doing neither of those things is as good as getting the APK directly from Mozilla! And clearly in both cases you need to manually check for new stable versions being released in order to keep pace with security updates.

However:

1) On GitHub, each release is marked and you can download the complete source code for it (https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/releases). Some of those are betas, some are the "full" releases. So according to what you choose, the source you choose should be the same as what was used to build the release that went onto Google Play.

2) APKMirror does in practice appear to have each stable and each nightly release.

Without doing one of these things, users of Android builds without Google services really are being told "sorry, go find another browser", which is really sad for the open web. (That's why I ask for any Mozilla policy statements you can link to.)

Okulungisiwe ngu philipmgrant

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It looks like Aurora Store is also a possibility (depending on someone's motivation for degoogling). No connection to the "Firefox Aurora" name that has been used in the past.

It retrieves packages from the Play Store, but doesn't require you to have a Google account or to have Google Play services running on your device.

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Ok. It looks like this issue is now closed, so I will lock this thread, but if you do have a further support request, please open a new request.