Friday, 29 June 2012

Mozilla upgrades Firefox for Android

Mozilla has launched the latest version of Firefox for Android-powered smartphones. The new version boasts of HTML5 support, a new redesigned user interface, significant performance advancements, a new smart page, and Flash support. Mozilla has added increased text readability through font size inflation, a new personalized Start Page with top sites and tabs from the last browsing session and a new panning/zooming architecture for better touch responsiveness. Users can also opt for add-ons to enhance and personalize their browsing experience. However, this new version is for phones only and does not support Android-powered tablets.

The official Mozilla blog states, “You’ll notice dramatic performance improvements that make Firefox on your Android phone super fast with everything from startup and page load times to panning and zooming and Web app performance. Firefox for Android has a fresh, streamlined look with a personalized start page that saves you time getting where you want to go on the Web. We also optimized your favorite features like tabbed browsing, Firefox Sync and Firefox Add-ons to deliver the best mobile browsing experience possible.”

Firefox now supports direct search from the address bar itself, with all Google searches now utilizing HTTPS. This is the 14th version of the mobile browser that Mozilla has released so far. Firefox users on the desktop will be pleased to know that this version continues to support Firefox Sync, which lets you sync bookmarks, passwords, history, favorites and other browser data between Firefox on your various devices.

The Mozilla blog also claims that this version of Firefox is faster than the stock Android browser. “Firefox for Android is significantly faster than the stock browser that ships on Android phones, according to leading industry benchmarks such as Sunspider. In addition, we developed a new benchmark, called Eideticker, that measures the actual user Web experience and we built Firefox for Android to it, yielding an experience that is two times faster than the stock browser,” the post reads.

This version, however, only supports Android 2.2 and above, unlike its predecessor, which supported devices with Android 2.1 and above. Mozilla stated on the Firefox Google Play store page that it has “Updated minimum system requirements to Android 2.2+ for optimized experience.” Moreover, in-browser Flash is not supported on Android tablets and Tegra 2 devices running on Gingerbread.

Mozilla Firefox for Android phones can be downloaded from the Google Play store.

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