Wednesday 1 May 2013

Firefox 23 for Android to get a better interface, smoother animations

Mozilla’s Lucas Rocha has revealed some of the interface and usability improvements we can expect in version 23 of Firefox for Android. The update features changes that are a result of a hacking experiment at Mozilla.

Rocha says the Firefox 23’s changes “will make a substantial difference in the experience of using Firefox on Android.” Besides changes in the browser code, there will be aesthetic changes as well. Many of the changes relate to the browser tabs, address bar and Reader Mode. These changes can be seen on the Firefox Nightly build over the next few days.

For tabs, Mozilla has added a new tabs icon. “Details in the tabs UI can make a big difference UX-wise. We changed the tabs button icon (see image) to provide better affordance. The new icon also features a much cooler animation when tabs are added or removed. Last but not least, we added a subtle parallax effect when you the open/close the tabs panel giving it a more fluid feel,” Rocha said on his blog.

As for the address bar, users “have the option to show URLs instead of page titles.” One possible pet peeve has also been taken care of—the hit areas for the reader and stop buttons have been resized to make accidental presses rarer. Rocha says these changes will correct “a long overdue issue.” In addition, long-time Firefox users on PCs will love the domain highlight, which will arrive soon for the Android app.

Firefox's Reader Mode will also get serif fonts. Also, doorhanger notifications will have a more polished animation, and text selection handles will have a more consistent style. “Favicons in the awesomescreen will look fancier, some visual glitches in the awesomescreen and toolbar were fixed, and more,” says Rocha.

Cover image: Mozilla

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