Firefox Dealbreakers

I’m thinking of giving Firefox a serious look (on Mac and iOS). I’ve searched this forum but many posts are old.

Before I go down this text, I’m wondering if people have reasons why they don’t like or use Firefox.

One thing I just read which could hurt is that I’m so used to having the auto fill of 2FA codes in Safari.

One thing I just read which could hurt is that I’m so used to having the auto fill of 2FA codes in Safari.

Lack of passkey support is something that hurts me.

I keep Firefox installed on the Mac as it is my go to browser if something does not work in Safari. But usually I get by just fine with Apple’s browser.

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My issues with Firefox are more philosophical than technical. As it is a cross-platform app, its support for macOS & iOS features will never fully match those of Safari. (Which, to my shock, is a pretty damn good daily driver nowadays.) And while the Mozilla Foundation does excellent work highlighting privacy and security issues, that is severely undercut by the continued reliance on funding from Google to keep the development of Firefox going. That development, by the way, seems only partly focused on the browser — their pushing of other apps and services really bugs me!

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It’s my daily driver for most things.
Of the “main” browsers, it seems to have good security, privacy, and cross platform support.
The only thing it’s missing for me is the reMarkable plugin.

Fingerprinted downloads, see below.

I do use Brave for Tana so that I can save it as an application, and for the reMarkable plugin.

I really love Firefox on the desktop. My primary reason is because of Containers. I have multiple things I like to keep siloed from each other, like app logins that just don’t work well in a shared environment. In Firefox (desktop) I can have sites redirect to different containers AKA environments and then work with them without dealing with logging out and in all the time.

I know other browsers have Profiles but they don’t work as well for me.

On iOS it’s a different story. Because of Apple’s lock-in they just don’t have the freedom to make it as good of a browser as macOS. On Android it’s so much better. So I put up with Safari on iOS. I have Firefox installed on iOS for history syncing (just in case and what not) but that’s about it.

I also have BookMacster installed on macOS so that it syncs bookmarks between Firefox and Safari. But those rarely change so not a huge issue there.

Like @kennonb above, for me the killer feature is containers. It means I can have open tabs for office and they don’t interfere between my voluntary organisation, work and personal accounts. Sure, a different browser could be used for each, but it also means that I can run it all at once in the same window but different tab and for different URL’s, it’ll open it for me with no intervention. And I’m also a BookMacster user.

However, a recent issue (and dealbreaker) is that the spell checker doesn’t work on Safety Culture website and that’s fundamental to my work now, so I use Edge for that. I can’t recall if the spell checker has given up ghost everywhere mind.

My biggest annoyance with Firefox (and it’s not huge, but it’s surprisingly annoying) is that there is no visual indication that a window is in private/incognito/whatever-it’s-called-for-this-browser mode. That’s my default browsing mode and in Firefox you can’t see at a glance (or easily determine at all) whether or not a new window is in that mode. Safari and Chrome make it obvious.


Hmm… maybe this was true in the past, but on the current Dev build (109.0b6), it looks like this when in private browsing mode:

vs a regular window (in light mode):

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Oh! I hope that makes it into the production versions!

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iOS browser is similar:

My annoyance with them is that when you use the default download option from Mozilla, they assign unique id’s to the download. I don’t have the link handy, but it was enough for me to go out of my way to download it from the repository and check hashes of the installers I downloaded. Not a good look for Mozilla…

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Thank you to all. I am going to give it a try for a period of time. See if it makes any difference.

Thanks for sharing this. Very annoying.
Time to go browser shopping yet again.
Here’s more discussion:

In my automations, I keep running into the problem that Firefox doesn’t support AppleScript.

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I do really like firefox (especially the sandboxed tabs), and use it as much as I can, but can’t always due to the restrictions Apple places on 3rd party developers. I would if I could, but some things can only be done in safari. So unfortunately i’m forced to also use Safari every now and again

That would be difficult to do under the notarization sytem for the mac, would be interested to hear if they do the same there.

question is though: how many of us believe Apple is not tracking us even more invasively?

I use it for one task, an ancient deprecated SQLite plugin that is my goto for quick stuff that only works in an old rev of Firefox so I can’t upgrade my install to anything newer.

It also seems a bit clunky but not really sure why.

I use safari all the time and I’m used to it and its quirks. Anything else takes more effort.

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I think the big difference is that Apple isn’t wholly dependent on advertising revenue from the data. They at least make an attempt and have a privacy officer (czar?) that is involved in major decisions. But I certainly believe that paranoia is our friend…

Mozilla looking to track downloads vs installs is nothing really malicious, and the opt out is clear and removes all ID’s as well. Apple’s attempts to monopolise access to it’s users, and yes I am sure they are making a lot of money monetising our usage data, is not what I would call user privacy friendly. Why else would all Apple advertising and tracking options on macos and ios be defaulted to ‘on’?

Call me cynical, or paranoid, but I do not believe Apple is any better than others when it comes to having to please shareholders by monetising everything they can.