Closed Bug 1002628 Opened 6 years ago Closed 5 years ago

Improved "Send Tab to Device" Experience

Categories

(Firefox for Android :: General, defect)

All
Android
defect
Not set

Tracking

()

RESOLVED INCOMPLETE
Tracking Status
fennec 32+ ---

People

(Reporter: ibarlow, Unassigned)

References

(Depends on 1 open bug)

Details

We recently pulled "Send Tab to Device" back to our Nightly release because the UX needed improvement. There were too many chances for users to get lost part way through their task. 

The purpose of this bug is to work through a set of reasonably short term improvements to this feature, so that current Send Tab users aren't left without it for too long, and new users have a good first impression of the experience. 

I'll post some proposed UX flows shortly and we can take it from there.
No longer blocks: 770735
tracking-fennec: --- → ?
OS: Mac OS X → Android
Hardware: x86 → All
Version: Firefox 31 → Trunk
tracking-fennec: ? → 32+
I'm not a developer - just a dumb user who is **** OFF that you've wasted so much of my time trying to figure out what happened to this feature - that you arbitrarily removed in an automatic update (which I have now and will now forever keep DISABLED) a feature I have used daily for a very long time.  You guys are so f--ing arrogant with your decisions to change things because you think it's better that way, without regard to how it affects users who just want to get things done and not waste a lot of time trying to play techhie.
(In reply to wcapital from comment #1)
> I'm not a developer - just a dumb user who is **** OFF that you've wasted so
> much of my time trying to figure out what happened to this feature - that
> you arbitrarily removed in an automatic update (which I have now and will
> now forever keep DISABLED) a feature I have used daily for a very long time.
> You guys are so f--ing arrogant with your decisions to change things because
> you think it's better that way, without regard to how it affects users who
> just want to get things done and not waste a lot of time trying to play
> techhie.

I'm sorry we removed a feature you relied on; that sucks.  Please believe that we're not arrogant -- all of us, UX, product managers, engineers like myself, discussed this at length.  There are several tickets talking about the technical and product implications of this choice, including Bug 941744 and Bug 965811.  That doesn't include the meetings and email threads that went into this decision.  And look -- here we are in a ticket where we're trying to build something better.

In the meantime, you can run Fennec Aurora or Nightly and get your old functionality back.  (You will need to make a new Sync account.)
> In the meantime, you can run Fennec Aurora or Nightly and get your old
> functionality back.  (You will need to make a new Sync account.)

Sorry, this was imprecise.  What I mean is that you'll need to set up Sync in Aurora or Nightly again, not that you'll need a new account.
Thanks for the suggestions....but, the additional time and effort to install and set up new versions just to get back what I had before isn't worth it.  Especially when Firefox doesn't recognize my sync account (and now I need to remember logins and passwords for snyc, for my master password, this forum, for Mozilla Support ---- which DON'T WORK and when I request new p/w or the login connected with my email address, the emails supposedly sent never arrive....AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!). I don't want another browser and I don't want another Sync account and I don't want to have to figure out / remember how to set up Sync again in another installation! 

You may not as individuals be arrogant - but collectively the behavior of the organization (like Microsoft with their damnable Windows 8)sure is.  What it does to everyday users like me makes me want to fund hackers who will find ways to torture the developers the way you torture us! Don't you/they understand that for most users it's very time consuming and aggravating to have to figure out how to use new versions of software that change features and interfaces, when we already have considerable time invested in learning how to do things???? The 2 or 3 hours I've already wasted trying to understand if and how I can restore this functionality, plus the frustration in having features just disappear and having to waste all this time when I should be doing WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING...well, you're right, it DOES SUCK!
And now I read that the "new Sync" doesn't work with the old Sync, and i need to unlink all my devices and upgrade them all to the new version of Firefox?  Based upon experience on only my mobile, and on the 85% negative comments I've read about it for PC, I'm pretty sure I want nothing to do with THAT!

Why didn't you just fix the damn bug (whatever it was - I never had any problems) with the Send Tab function?


I think I'm ready to uninstall Firefox, which I've been using for many many many years, and start over with Chrome....
(In reply to wcapital from comment #5)

> I think I'm ready to uninstall Firefox, which I've been using for many many
> many years, and start over with Chrome....

We'll be sorry to lose you, wcapital. As one of the people who contributed to this decision, and as the designer working to improve it, I can assure you that the removing this feature before repairing it was a very painful choice to make. 

We knew it would hurt the small set of people who depend on it, and we had to weigh that pain against the reality that in this latest release of Firefox, we were about to receive a massive influx of new Sync users who would discover a feature that to date has been notoriously unreliable. We chose what we felt would be the lesser of two pains (in terms of number of users), but I recognize this does not help your current situation. 

As Nick said, we're all just normal people here trying to do our best to make Firefox a delight to use. And like any organization, we are trying to move mountains with finite time and resources, so hard decisions need to be made sometimes. I would wager that we can find that even more upsetting than you do, at times.

If you feel you need to keep discussing this here, I would kindly ask that you dial down the anger in your comments. This bug is about making this feature better and sending it back out to our GA users as soon as we can. And your anger -- while understandable -- is not contributing to that goal. 

Thanks
Ian
Ian,

Thanks for taking the time to reply;  I DO appreciate that people like you care and respond to angry users like me, and that things may not be as clear as they appear to the casual user.  

I just read elsewhere something to the effect that only maybe 1% of users actually set up and use Sync....and simplifying it is a major reason for the rollout of "new Sync" (and, presumably an even smaller subset use the Send Tab functionality).  So, I suppose it's easier to understand the decisions....sometimes being part of "the One Percent" isn't all it's cracked up to be...perhaps having only a bit of tech savvy is worse than none at all!

But please consider how to make transitions easier for us.  For you guys who are the developers, you're more like the 1% of the 1%.  For everyone else, things like an automatic message that briefs you on the changes of a new version, and gives you the opportunity to decline, would be helpful (yes, mea culpa for leaving the default setting for automatic updates on in my new device...but it seems you're damned if you do and damned if you don't!).   And, better yet, weighing the value of preserving old functionality and interface familiarity (see: Win 8.1 and Start Menu) to make transitions smoother.  Adapting to change is a lot easier with warning and choice and gradual progressions...

My apologies to everyone here if I've misused this forum; but I hope my comments are considered and found at least somewhat useful.

Kevin
(In reply to wcapital from comment #7)

> sometimes being part of "the One Percent" isn't all it's
> cracked up to be...

As I recall, less than 1% of Sync users were active users of the existing Send Tab functionality… and many of those were on Nightly and Aurora, where it's still enabled. So you're not just part of the 1%, you're part of an incredibly tiny group.
I'm another one of those users who loves this feature and can't wait to get it back. I'm pretty irked that a feature I used ever day just vanished unexpectedly. If the goal is to offer a better version of the featue, I'd have been much happier if the new version replaced the old version, rather than taking away the old feature then (hopefully) adding a new one. I definitely feel burned by leaving on automatic updates. I don't feel a sense of ownership, control, or autonomy with this change.
I can only second everything Tom said.

For users like me, who rely on this feature a lot, I asked for alternatives on Android SE: http://android.stackexchange.com/q/68611/639
The best suggestion so far seems to be Pushbullet, which handles this use case (and many others) really quite nice: https://www.pushbullet.com/
The mobile team is looking into re-adding it back for Firefox 29.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1005074
Another user here who is devastated on the loss of this feature. The SOLE reason as to why I used Firefox.

Guess time has come for change.
Don't forget the 1% of hardcore and/or technical users are probably your biggest advocates and responsible for getting at least family and friends onto Firefox. Don't be so quick to leave them out of your decisions. I appreciate you consider them but there seems to be a downgrading of our needs in your decision process. Personally, I also used Sync to Remote Tab every day, found it very easy to use UIX-wise and never had a technical problem with it. I therefore don't see any justification for taking it - out if you were just going to put it back in in a different form - rather than just leaving it there (if indeed so many people were not using it, what difference would it have made?) and replacing it when the time came to add the new version. 

Like others, I rely on it very much. For me, it because Firefox for Android on my device crashes with any media content and I must send the tab/link to my desktop PC to read it.

From past experience discussing removed Firefox features, I have noted Mozilla developers take decisions based primarily (ostensibly only) on numbers of users of a feature. You should also be taking into account the impact of removing a feature on those number of users (however small), and consider it against the impact of not removing it. In this case, I think the latter was very, very small (if anything) and therefore this feature should not have been removed.
(In reply to Nick Alexander :nalexander from comment #3)
> > In the meantime, you can run Fennec Aurora or Nightly and get your old
> > functionality back.  (You will need to make a new Sync account.)
> 
> Sorry, this was imprecise.  What I mean is that you'll need to set up Sync
> in Aurora or Nightly again, not that you'll need a new account.

I've installed Nightly, and see the feature back in the menu there --- but, after having set up Sync, don't find my other devices when I try to use it. Perhaps I DO need to set up a new Sync account, and/or install the new v.29 of FF to my PC's? [I have a laptop with W7 Pro, and a desktop with W8.1 Pro, but which do not do FF updates automatically]
Please do not use bug reports for support requests. Please submit a question on SUMO https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/mobile
Well, I guess I just sent that previous message (thought I had a few days ago).  While the feature appeared in Nightly, and the Nightly version of it in my regular install of Firefox - neither of them would see either of my two Windows computers - "send tab to" would come up  ---but with no devices visible to send to!  

Well then, after another update to FF, now the feature is back again...with all the devices.  Still same problem with Nightly, though - but I no longer give a rat's buttocks as I don't want or need another version of the browser anyhow - so bye bye Nightly.

I just wish whatever was wrong with this feature would have just been fixed - without mysteriously and without warning or explanation (other than for those to took the time to search and find this blog and ask and complain) - removing it!  That would have saved me an awful lot of aggravation, and all of us time that I'm sure we could have used better...

Now I'm on to figuring out all the changes you rocket scientists had to make for the new v. 29 I just installed on my laptop....for....why?  Why did you have to make it move all the buttons I'd set in all the places I wanted them, and come up with a new menu button on the upper right corner where I don't want it AND CAN'T EVEN MOVE IT???    But I guess if I want to get answers and help on that I'll need to find a new blog dedicated to it. 

I do see that on the "Firefox Input" Dashboard, in the last 7 days sentiment about FF is running at 4145:9 "Sad" vs. "Happy".  What's THAT tell us?  And I thought Windows 8 was bad......

Sometimes I wonder if all you developers don't just get a perverse thrill out of screwing with us dumb users' heads....
(In reply to wcapital from comment #14)
> (In reply to Nick Alexander :nalexander from comment #3)
> > > In the meantime, you can run Fennec Aurora or Nightly and get your old
> > > functionality back.  (You will need to make a new Sync account.)
> > 
> > Sorry, this was imprecise.  What I mean is that you'll need to set up Sync
> > in Aurora or Nightly again, not that you'll need a new account.
> 
> I've installed Nightly, and see the feature back in the menu there --- but,
> after having set up Sync, don't find my other devices when I try to use it.
> Perhaps I DO need to set up a new Sync account, and/or install the new v.29
> of FF to my PC's? [I have a laptop with W7 Pro, and a desktop with W8.1 Pro,
> but which do not do FF updates automatically]

It sounds like your desktops are using old Sync and your Android device is using new Sync.  The two systems are not connected.

Hmm, this will be tricky.  Definitely the easiest will be to use Firefox 29 on all your devices and new Sync.  Then everything is standard.

But, if you really want to keep using old Sync, then you can leave your Windows machines as they are, but you'll need to dance a bit to set up old Sync on Android.  What should work is to install Firefox 28 on your Android device (which might require removing your profile?  usually you can't downgrade an Android App), and set up old Sync using Firefox 28.  Then, you can upgrade to Firefox 29 and your old Sync account will continue to work.  And, with 29.0.1, you won't lose Send Tab to Devices (with either old or new Sync).

Hope that helps.
Sorry if I abused the purpose of the but report with what looks like a support request.  This was the only place after some time searching that I could find any answer about what had happened and why.  And I do appreciate the efforts to help. Thanks for tolerating it....out.
Thanks for the help, Nick (I should have said "some developers"...).

I'm not sure what's going on but I now have 29.0.1 on my W7Pro laptop, and the latest Android version on my Note III (Android 4.3); with the earlier (v.28 I guess) on the W8.1Pro desktop and on my older Note I (Android 4.1.2)....and from either of the Androids I now can see and can send tabs to any of the other 3 devices.  So maybe I don't know it but in all my screwing around I got new Sync set up.  However Nightly send tab doesn't see any of them...but I really don't care as I don't need it...so, whatever...what I need to use WORKS NOW! As does the "send to device" from that add-on extension.  I am curious why this wasn't already part of FF for Windows, and I needed to install the extension, but I guess it doesn't matter - I won't waste any more of all of your time!

Thanks,
Kevin
So since we re-added the current version of Send Tab, and since this bug has become more of a dumping ground instead of a do-the-work thing, I'm closing out this bug. 

I will file separate bugs for adding ongoing improvements that we still want to make to this feature.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 5 years ago
Resolution: --- → INCOMPLETE
Is this feature currently back in?  Because I can send to my desktop Firefox (Windows and Mac) from my Android phone and tablet but I cannot send tabs from the desktop versions. Cheers.
(In reply to Ben Kennish from comment #21)
> Is this feature currently back in?  Because I can send to my desktop Firefox
> (Windows and Mac) from my Android phone and tablet but I cannot send tabs
> from the desktop versions. Cheers.

This has been the case for years now, see bug https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=507471
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