Open Bug 1663735 Opened 4 years ago Updated 10 days ago

Firefox Android download page should offer APK file for non Google Play users

Categories

(www.mozilla.org :: General, enhancement)

Production
enhancement

Tracking

(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: matt, Unassigned)

References

Details

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Fedora; Linux x86_64; rv:80.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/80.0

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Go to https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/#product-android-release
  2. Click "Download Now".

Actual results:

I get Fennec (version 68).

Expected results:

I get Fenix (version 79+).

In the meantime, I was able to get the apk from https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/releases .

This is because the download URL the site uses is still redirecting to Fennec:

https://download.mozilla.org/?product=fennec-latest&os=android&lang=multi

It is using product-fennec-latest but I'm not sure if there is a new product alias yet or not. I'll find the right person in release management to ask.

Unfortunately what I've learned is that Fenix builds are not being uploaded to the same places that Fennec builds were so that we can link to them easily. They do show up in GitHub releases as you said, but those are manually managed and unreliable at this time. For now our plan is outlined in this issue:

https://github.com/mozilla/bedrock/issues/8938

Basically we plan to remove the Android options from the form on /all and add Play Store and App Store links for the Android and iOS browsers respectively. It's unfortunate that we'll no longer be offering direct APK downloads on the site. Hopefully the team will make the builds available in an automated and reliable way soon (see bug 1614763) and we can add those options back to the form.

Thanks very much for filing this bug.

Depends on: 1614763

(In reply to Matt McCutchen from comment #0)

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Fedora; Linux x86_64; rv:80.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/80.0

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Go to https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/#product-android-release
  2. Click "Download Now".

Actual results:

I get Fennec (version 68).

Expected results:

I get Fenix (version 79+).

In the meantime, I was able to get the apk from https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/fenix/releases .

on this Link Alots Of Apk Out there which one should be try.

Flags: needinfo?(alexjohn1452)

on this Link Alots Of Apk Out there which one should be try.

Probably the correct apk for your Android device's architecture under the release marked "Latest release" at any given time, though I'm not sure of the release practices.

Checking on things now, I see that the button to download the APK directly from Mozilla was removed from the download page in https://github.com/mozilla/bedrock/issues/8938. I'll restate this issue accordingly, though it may be WONTFIX at this point.

Flags: needinfo?(alexjohn1452)
Type: defect → enhancement
Summary: Firefox Android apk download page is still giving me Fennec (68), should give Fenix (79+) → Firefox Android download page should offer APK file for non Google Play users

I would also like to chime in here.
I was about to open a bug report that the download mechanism for the mobile browser is broken.
a) why is it required to have the download link emailed to you? It totally contradicts the mission statement for privacy. If not a little explanation as to why a fancy mechanism for Emails is required for mobile browsers but not for Desktop users. What is wrong with a direct download link, or even better some JS that will serve the user the flavor of APK they require.
b) The link that is mailed does not lead to an APK. Older versions of FF Focus are not even able to work with it and when opening it in Opera mobile or on the desktop will yield the result that there is no link available. At least that is what
my experience was
Regarding the discussion in the thread.
Githubs release page is somewhat hidden under Tags.
Now, seeing Matt write in a Bug-tracker I assume, he is a rather technical, or at least tech savvy, person.
Most users on the internet are not.
Now to be fair, I do not have Google Playstore installed and was saddened to see it vanish from F-Droid, so it might be a different matter for users downloading our beloved browser from within those ecosystems, and it is very great that those really desperate for a FF on mobile can still get it via Github Release Pages.

Cheers

Hi alst20! I doubt we're going to change Mozilla's decision via this bug thread, but there are some additional options available for non-Google-Play users that may be of interest to you. I found an existing thread in the Mozilla forums about this and added a post about the current status there. Let's continue the discussion there as needed.

APK files are only for Android devices. And those are really helpful for non-play store users. I also download APK files for my android devices. Recently I just download APK from https://thelightroomapk.com/ on my android device, which is an APK file and working fine. But I was not able to download the APK file of firefox.

We have a location where APKs are exposed: https://archive.mozilla.org/pub/fenix/
This is not ideal because it's not discoverable (SEO) and not user friendly. In order to enable users to find and download the right apk (locale, channel, cpu arch) could we expose an apk download page on mozilla.org that points to the right apk location? This would prevent users from accessing apks from untrusted sources.

Another issue from a security standpoint is the lack of SEO, So users who might be from countries not served by play store app would have to look to the first option in google e.g. Firefox android apk, which can lead to users downloading cracked and malicious versions of Firefox and other Mozilla applications from shady apk websites. Which can either steal their passwords / credit cards or deliver a subpar experience to our users.

As part of my role in Mozilla i often have to submit DMCA take-downs to websites and their hosts to remove Firefox apk's that i know have been modified

It doesn't seem like it would help most users very much to just point them to the directory listing of releases, and we'd need latest-release version information in https://product-details.mozilla.org/1.0/mobile_details.json to generate a direct link to the right file. It currently says that 118.1.1 is the release version. Is that correct? If so what would the proper link be for people? Should we link to all 4 of the APKs available here?

Best option would be if these products were available via bouncer, but if there really is just one file per platform that works for any language, then we could probably just generate the direct link from the version data in product-details.

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