Firefox for Android overhauled

As teased by Mozilla a few days ago, the company has released a major update of the Firefox web browser for Android smartphones. The new version, which has been in a public beta for several months, is now available to download from the Google Play service.

As noted in the official Mozilla blog, one of the biggest changes is the speed and performance of the Android Firefox browser. It states:

Firefox for Android is significantly faster than the stock browser that ships on Android phones according to the 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 new version also supports Flash and HTML5 and its UI includes a new personalized start page. Mozilla adds, "The new Awesome Screen powered by Firefox Sync delivers all your browsing history, bookmarks, passwords and form data to your Android phone. We also optimized your favorite features like tabbed browsing, Firefox Sync and Firefox Add-ons to deliver the best mobile browsing experience possible."

Mozilla is also working on a Metro version of Firefox for Windows 8 and the company is developing an iPad specific version of Firefox in the near future.

Source: Firefox for Android download page | Image via Mozilla

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flexkeyboard said,
just tried it, it still sucks, laggy scroll etc etc

Always been silky smooth for me. Even the old versions. So yea must be your phone.

Meph said,

Which Android phone do you have?

I never understand why people assume "phone" when you use Android. Even the developers cram the word "phone" in everywhere. Using Android on a computer? Phone. Android on a can of soda? Phone. Android on a Tablet? Phone.

Xenomorph said,
I never understand why people assume "phone" when you use Android. Even the developers cram the word "phone" in everywhere. Using Android on a computer? Phone. Android on a can of soda? Phone. Android on a Tablet? Phone.

I say "phone" in this case because this version of Firefox with the native UI only works on phones at the moment. Tablets still use the slower XUL version.

link6155 said,
Firefox has been stable and snappy for me throughout my uses!

You were obviously doing something wrong then, cause Firefox started working properly with this version.

Varemenos said,

You were obviously doing something wrong then, cause Firefox started working properly with this version.

Never had any issues with it either. Always been stable...never been laggy. The stock browser has always been the laggy one for me.

Wait....

"In addition, we developed a new benchmark, called Eideticker, that measures the actual user Web experience and we built Firefox for Android to it..."

You created a benchmark tool, *then* built a browser optimised for it? I can't believe that turned out to show good results, can you?

thommcg said,
Wait....

"In addition, we developed a new benchmark, called Eideticker, that measures the actual user Web experience and we built Firefox for Android to it..."

You created a benchmark tool, *then* built a browser optimised for it? I can't believe that turned out to show good results, can you?

HAHAHAHA! Who'd a' thunk it?

Nice, It even works on my ARMv6 smartphone.
All of you badmouthing it, first try the new version and then go ahead and type your ******

Varemenos said,
Nice, It even works on my ARMv6 smartphone.
All of you badmouthing it, first try the new version and then go ahead and type your ******

orly?

tsupersonic said,
Just tried it, and wow, it's still a piece of ****.

flexkeyboard said,
just tried it, it still sucks, laggy scroll etc etc

Detection said,
This app is incompatible with your Asus Transformer TF101.

Varemenos said,
Nice, It even works on my ARMv6 smartphone.
All of you badmouthing it, first try the new version and then go ahead and type your ******

I`m sorry but your talking out of your bottom! From Mozilla...

System Requirements:

Firefox requires Android 2.2 or later and an ARMv7 processor. Installation requires about 17 MB internal or SD card storage. Firefox runs best on devices with at least 512 MB of RAM.

These devices have ARMv6 processors and are not compatible with Firefox for Android. We are working on ARMv6 support:

Did you sideload it, there are experimental builds with ARMv6 support...

I like it, a lot actually. The address bar sucks a bit on the appearance front (I'd rather have an Android theme than a Firefox theme), but it's pretty quick, easily on par with Chrome for Android IMO, more stable too by the look of it.

Still no ARMv6 support. Unofficial betas from XDA are painfully slow anyway, however. Sticking with Opera Mobile for now.

Wow, I am surprised that they've released this so soon.

I've been using it since the very first nightly build appeared, I love the hell out of it (and the nightly build version is better than this again) it has what I'd call a critical bug where the screen doesn't refresh (dynamic screen elements, swapping tabs, etc) until I minimise the browser to the start screen and open it again, or until I change screen orientation between portrait and landscape modes and back again.

Such a pity because I absolutely LOVE this version, and I've been waiting for them to fix this bug in the nightly builds, I am gob smacked that they didn't fix it before release.

I hope that this is only a problem on my phone exclusively, otherwise this bug will do them a lot of damage because it will frustrate the hell out of people.

I hate to be a jerk by saying this, but Mozilla needs to ditch their engine on the mobile platforms, and start adopting Webkit. Their engine sucks at rendering HTML5, this version is years behind the desktop version of Firefox and IE9, not to mention other Webkit based browsers.

These fellas never learn:
1. It is slow.
2. Becomes unresponsive.
3. Still has the worst interface for mobile devices.

And it does not work with most tablets (especially those with Tegra 2). Really is this the way they make browsers? If yes, they'd better change their career path.

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