Last year, Mozilla promised to rock your World Wide Web with Firefox for Android. While Chrome is still my default browser, mainly due to a preference for its user interface, Firefox Mobile has indeed gone on to garner sizable fan base, with an impressive rating of 4.2 in the Play store.
Mozilla has revealed some of the features that are lined up for Firefox for Android in 2013. The most significant new feature to be disclosed is Private Browsing. Private Browsing has become a standard feature in desktop browsers, and several mobile browsers including Chrome and Dolphin have offered it on mobile phones also for quite some time. Incidentally, Private Browsing in Firefox for desktop is also being rewritten to offer increased flexibility.
The other focus point for Firefox in 2013 will be enhanced customizability. The mobile edition of Firefox will support themes as well as offer a customizable start-page. “No matter how you browse with Firefox for Android — for news, the most useful sites, the funniest pages — we’ll never stop trying to give you the best and fastest experience”, Mozilla promised in its note.
The final revelation concerns increased availability, both in terms of device compatibility and language support. Mozilla didn’t offer a timeline, but promised to make these features available “soooooooon”.
Over the last 24 hours, quite a few popular Android apps have received major updates. Firstly, Mozilla has released a major update for the tablet edition of Firefox browser, aimed at improving the speed and overall fit and finish of the browser. The speed enhancements in the latest version is visible right from the reduced start-up time to the reduced loading and navigating web pages time.
Second in the list is LevelUp Studio’s popular Twitter client, Plume. The application recently got a major new UI refresh with a Holo based theme, but LevelUp Studio has further tweaked the UI of the app in the latest update. The latest update brings a new fly-in menu, some layout optimisations for the Nexus 7, and a much faster performance overall. Slowly and steadily, Plume has become the go-to Twitter client in the Android ecosystem.
Last, but not the least is a popular File Manager app for Android, ASTRO.The application has been updated after ages from its developers, Metago, and now features a drop-dead gorgeous UI. As of now, the latest version is only for Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean users, but the developer has promised to release the new update for older versions of Android as well.
We already knew that Firefox for Android was expected to get a huge update. Last week, Mozilla has teased us about the upcoming update on Twitter. Now, the company went ahead and launched the latest version of its popular browser, Firefox for Android v14.0. Mozilla has been beta testing Firefox for Android for the last few months. Now, the company has finally moved this browser out of the beta status.
Mozilla claims that Firefox for Android is significantly faster than the stock browser that ships on Android smartphones. The latest update brings significant performance improvements, personalized start page, faster start-up, better text readability and much more. It also supports Adobe Flash, which allows you to check out your favorite videos on the go. The most notable feature of this update is its re-designed UI and a new personalized start page. Check out the complete changelog below.
- Faster start-up and page load times.
- Support for Adobe Flash.
- Significant performance advancements.
- The user interface has been completely re-designed with a new Awesome Screen.
- New personalized Start Page with top sites and tabs from last time.
- Better text readability through font size inflation.
- Tap-to-play is default for plugins.
- Google searches now utilize HTTPS.
- New panning/zooming architecture implemented for better touch responsiveness.
- Updated minimum system requirements to Android 2.2+ for optimized experience.
Apart from these amazing features, the new Firefox comes with enhanced privacy options with features such as Do Not Track, Master Password, HTTP Strict Transport Security and more. The Firefox for Android also allows you to synchronize bookmarks, passwords, history and open tabs from all of your other devices.
If you have previously used the Firefox on your Android device, then I’m sure, you might have been disappointed with the poor memory management and lack of flash in the browser. However, the latest version is definitely worth a try. To download the new Firefox for Android, search “Firefox” on the Google Play Store or head over to this page.