Firefox For Android Gets A Major Update; Brings New UI, Flash Support

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.

Changelog:

  • 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.

Firefox 4 Beta 4 For Android And Maemo Released; Is ‘Faster Than Ever’

It was more than a month ago that Mozilla had released the last update for Firefox 4 for mobile for both Android and Maemo. Until the last beta, Firefox 4 for Android more of a bloat ware than a decent third party browser.

The Mozilla Firefox team listened to all the feedbacks they got from the previous beta release and today, they released a new Beta of the app. The Beta 4 of Firefox for Android is now much, much better than the previous beta versions. The application boot up time has been heavily reduced and so has the page-load times. The Mozilla teams says that their benchmarks shows that this new beta of Firefox Mobile is faster than the stock Android browser in all the benchmarks they concluded.

On my Desire Z running on CM6.1.1 and OC’ed to 900MHz, Firefox Mobile did not seem to load pages faster than the stock Android browser. It was slower than the stock Android browser but not by a huge margin. Firefox Mobile was also not able to render some sites properly unlike the stock Android browser.

snap20110202_135940 snap20110202_140053

snap20110202_140246

Performance wise, the stock Android browser is still way faster and smoother than Firefox 4. For me, the UI response and the overall speed of the Firefox 4 needs some improvements before it can replace the stock Android browser.

The APK of Firefox 4 is a whopping 13.5MB and after installation the app footprint increases to 30MB! This won’t go down well with people who are using Android phones with low internal memory. Thankfully, the app can be moved to SD card. One big advantage of Firefox 4 over the stock Android browser is the support for plug-ins. Right now, the Mobile Add-ons gallery for Firefox 4 features more than 100 useful plug-ins.

Hopefully, with the next beta of Firefox for Mobile most of these issues would be solved. Looks like we Android users will soon have a decent alternative to the stock Android browser.

Android owners can download Firefox 4 for Mobile from the Android Market.

Download Firefox For Android Pre-Release

We have recently seen a lot of movement in the Firefox world. The mobile version of Firefox was dropped from plan as Windows left no stone unturned to make its own browser, the last man standing on the Windows Mobile 7. Next, Pwn2Own brought out some unresolved vulnerabilities in Firefox.

Following the buzz, today, Firefox is available as a pre-release download from the Android Forum. Although this build is not feature complete, it has the basic bookmarks and some add-on support. The Firefox available is for the Droid and does not run on all handsets equally well. The application is availabe as GeckoApp.

If you want to check out the looks and feel without actually installing the latest Firefox, see this Youtube video for a demo.

(Via: DownloadSquad)