If you’re looking for added security when browsing on your Android device, look no further than NoScript. The popular Firefox extension has now been made available for Firefox Mobile. It’s called NoScript Anywhere.
Browsers have become extremely complex. With more and more platform-agnostic webapps appearing, users have been living and working inside a browser instead of a desktop. Google has been pushing Chromebooks that provide a full web experience using nothing more than their Chrome browser. Safari has gone mobile. Firefox has gone mobile. Opera has gone mobile. All these mobile browsers are gaining popularity, yet nobody has been addressing the issue with modern browsers: security.
NoScript Anywhere allows the plugin to be installed without restarting Firefox Mobile. It provides an option for disabling automatic playback of Flash and Java applets, instead, a placeholder can be clicked to initiate execution of the plugin.
Naturally, NoScript Anywhere is based on the extremely popular open source NoScript extension written by Giorgio Maone, who also created the FlashGot Download Manager. The work started at the beginning of 2011, it took short 9 months of incubation before being completed and available for public use.
The majority of mobile browsers are based on WebKit, but are proprietary and different across the board by manufacturer. Android’s browser is based on Chromium, iOS’s based on Safari and BlackBerry’s based on a moldy flaming banana peel.
Firefox Mobile will hopefully become extremely popular among all smartphone users, and we will see NoScript Anywhere usage increase, making the web just a little bit safer for everybody.
After numerous months in beta testing and a couple of RC releases, Mozilla has finally gone ahead and released the final version of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo.
Firefox 4 for Android features a streamlined interface, support for more than 150+ plug-ins, themes to change the look of the browser and the ability to sync your data with your desktop FF browser.
I have been using Firefox 4 since its beta version, and I must say that the final version is much better than the betas, which were bloated, slow and took ages to load. Compared to the stock Android 2.2/2.3 browser, Firefox is still slow and takes more time to start-up.
Another major disadvantage of FF4 for Android is that it does not support Flash 10.1, which might be a deal-breaker for many. The text rendering of the browser is not up to the mark as well!
The only advantage FF4 for Android has over its major competitors Opera Mobile 11 and the stock Android browser is the support for plugins.
The desktop version of Firefox is popular among the users because of its high level of customizations offered by the plug-ins. The same holds true for the mobile version of Firefox 4.
Yesterday, along with the final version of Firefox 4, Mozilla also released the RC version of Firefox for Android and Maemo on the Android Market.
According to the Mozilla blog, the RC version of FF4 for Android and Maemo is faster and more responsive than the previous Beta release. There are improvements to Firefox Sync and UI as well.
I have been using the latest RC on my Desire Z running CM7 (Android 2.3.3.), and I am pleased to say that the performance of the app has improved considerably. I called the last beta release of Firefox for Android more of a bloat ware, but the RC version is fast and snappy! The start-up loading time of the application has been reduced significantly as well.
One major advantage of Firefox Mobile over the Stock Android browser and Opera Mobile 11 is the support for extensions. Right now, there are more than 150 add-ons available for Firefox Mobile.
The only downside of Firefox Mobile is that at the moment it does not support Flash. This is quite a major letdown considering Flash support is a very big plus of the Android OS over iOS. In fact, Opera Mobile 11 for Android also supports Flash.
Hopefully, the final version of Firefox will include support for Flash. We will also be doing a Firefox 4 vs. Opera Mobile 11 vs. Stock Android browser comparison, once the final version of Firefox Mobile is released.
Nokia finally announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft, that would use their strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem. Nokia also shocked everyone by announcing that, Windows Phone would be their “primary software platform”. It does not mean that Symbian and Meego are dead, since Nokia is expecting to sell more than 150 million Symbian devices in the coming years. Nokia also confirmed that the Meego based smartphone would be launched, later this year. Nokia is also planning to manufacture Windows and Meego based tablets. According to the deal,
- Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
- Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
- Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
- Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
- Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience
- Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
- Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.
“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”
“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”
Nokia also announced the extensive operator billing agreements, which will allow the consumers to easily purchase the Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low. The Nokia-Microsoft ecosystem targets to deliver differentiated and innovative product to the consumers.
Nokia is expected to launch the Meego based Nokia N9 smartphone at the end of this year. According to the rumors, Nokia N9 would be the first and the last Meego powered smartphone to be manufactured by Nokia. Windows Phone 7 was launched back in October and the sales are not as per the expectations. Do you think Nokia made the right move by joining hands with Microsoft? Or Nokia should have selected Android as its primary operating system? Let us know your interesting views in the comments below.
[ Image Credit ]
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.
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.
Earlier this month, SPB Software launched its popular application, SPB TV for Android and Bada OS. And now, the company announced the launch of this amazing app for Maemo smartphones. SPB TV for Maemo allows you to watch Live TV channels on the go. You can easily download this application from Ovi Store. Check out the complete features of SPB TV below.
- Full Screen TV player with picture-in-picture mode
- Unique TV browser with fast channel launching and switching
- A wide selection of public live TV channels
- Integrated TV Guide with a list of current and upcoming TV shows
- On-screen control panel
- Video quality switcher
- Advanced Video Codec support
We aim to bring SPB TV to every mobile device and provide users with the opportunity to watch mobile TV for free no matter what kind of phone they have. The release of SPB TV for Maemo and Nokia N900 devices helps us to cover one more platform and make SPB TV available for more than 99% of mobile devices on the market, says Vassili Philippov, COO of SPB Software.
SPB TV for Maemo is the first mobile TV solution for Maemo devices available on the Ovi store. Currently, Maemo users can watch live TV channels from more than 17 countries. Currently, this app is available on Android, iPhone/iPad, Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Bada and WebOS smartphones as well as on feature phones. SPB TV is available for Maemo smartphone users for free. This app currently supports Nokia N900 smartphone. To download SPB TV, head over to this page.
The team behind the popular desktop browser Firefox Mozilla has released an updated beta of Firefox for Android and Maemo. The new update brings with it number of bug fixes and features including copy/paste in URL bar and new style menus. Firefox for mobile is based on the same platform as Firefox for desktop.
Here is the list of the new features introduced in Firefox 4 Beta 3 for Android -:
- Improved support for Android keyboards, both hardware and on-screen
- New Android-style menus
- Fixed a bug in opening links from other apps
- Support for uploading files
- “Save as PDF” command in the site menu
- Fixed rendering of Arabic and Farsi text (on devices with Arabic/Farsi fonts installed)
- Firefox Sync
- New UI for simpler setup
- Support for custom Firefox Sync servers
- Full-screen open video
- Improved audio performance
- User interface
- Copy/paste in URL bar
- Search engines appear in the awesome screen as you type
- Browse recommended add-ons through the add-on manager
For developers -:
- localStorage API
- orientation events (new on Android)
- Crash reporting for crashes in web content
I had tried the previous beta of Firefox for Android and was left totally unimpressed. The application was slow, took forever to start and by the time it loaded the desktop version of Engadget on my phone I was able to finish a level of Angry Birds. I am yet to try to the new beta but I hope that the Mozilla team has solved these issues.
Android and Maemo handset(s ) owners can download Firefox for their handset from here.
A few days, Nokia had released the PR1.3 firmware update for the N900 which allows the device to dual-boot between Maemo and MeeGo OS. Following this, the MeeGo OS v1.1 for handsets has been released today as well with U-Boot support. No official change-log has been provided so we can’t really say what the major changes in this version are. However, we expect everything to be more polished and simply work better.
Since Nokia does not officially support N900 owners dual-booting their phones, I would suggest them to stay away as it will void their warranty. However, hackers and modders who like to tinker around with their phone are already in action and have uploaded a video of the N900 dual-booting the Maemo and MeeGo OS. Here is the video :
Nokia N900 Dual Booting Maemo and MeeGo OS
Users can download the MeeGo OS v1.1 image for the Nokia N900 from here. Let the modding begin folks!
Nokia has released the PR 1.3 (V20.2010.36-2) firmware update for its Maemo based internet-tablet-cum-handset – the N900. The new firmware update adds support for the Nokia Ovi Suite to make syncing data between the handset and PC easier. The update also includes hundreds’ of tweaks and bug fixes to make the N900 run faster and smoother.
This is the same firmware update about which we had reported a couple of weeks ago. This update will allow developers to dual-boot between Maemo and MeeGo OS. N900 owners can update the firmware on their device via OTA (Over-The Air). Since the handset features UDP (User Data Preservation), users don’t need to make a backup of their data. However, for safety purposes users should make a backup of their data.
Nokia will slowly be releasing the firmware update in various regions of the world in the upcoming weeks.
Along with their quarterly financial report, Nokia also announced that there will be no more Symbian^4. Now don’t jump to a conclusion that Symbian is dead. What Nokia (and I) meant that any improvements and update which the Symbian platform will see will be passed over to all the Symbian^3 devices currently in the market.
Here is what Nokia exactly said :
You can buy a Nokia smartphone confident that any improvements introduced later to the Symbian platform, such as the user interface, can be made available to download on your device as well. No need to wait for Symbian^4 – the improvements we were planning for Symbian^4 will be introduced as and when they become available. In fact, we will no longer be talking about Symbian^3 or Symbian^4 at all it will be one constantly evolving and constantly improving platform.
So from the above statement it is clear that there will be no more Symbian^3 or Symbian^4. It will just be Symbian from henceforth. According to me, this is a pretty smart move to keep all the present N8 owners happy as well as to lure new customers to the Symbian platform. Along with this, Nokia also announced that they will be streamlining the development for both MeeGo and Symbian by using Qt and only Qt. The Finnish company also announced that they will be adding support for HTML5 web content and applications for both the platforms Symbian and MeeGo and Qt.