Firefox to improve Android tablet-based features

If you own an Android-based tablet like the Xoom or the Galaxy Tab you are most likely to use the included Chrome web browser from Google. Now Mozilla, the team behind the Firefox browser, wants to put more of an effort to have its product used on more Android-based tablets as the market expands for such devices.

In a new blog post, Ian Barlow, who works on Firefox's mobile browser team, offers up some news on what he has been working on to improve using the browser on tablets.

The Firefox browser that's made for Android smartphones hides most of the browser's user interface features. For the tablet version, the team decided to bring some of those UI elements back again. One of them is the tabs feature, and Barlow writes that; "In landscape mode, tabs exist in a persistent left bar, allowing for quicker browsing. You can switch through tabs with your left thumb, and scroll through web content with your right. In portrait mode, this tab bar gets rolled up into a menu item at the top of the screen, to free up browsing space below."

In addition, the tablet version of Firefox will have the browser's trademark big "back" button for simple access to previous web pages. Bookmarks and other features such as your internet history have had their icons moved over to the left of the browser for easier access. According to Barlow it also, "[...] increases the number of results that can be displayed above the keyboard." Some of the new features have already been put into the Android version of Firefox or will be in the near future.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Samsung's Galaxy S II officially revealed for US

Next Story

Nokia opens poll to name first Windows Phone device

10 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

The inbuilt browser isn't Chrome. Oh, how I wish it was.
Chrome has awesome HTML5 scores, the inbuilt browser is lucklastre.

Sacha said,
The inbuilt browser isn't Chrome. Oh, how I wish it was.
Chrome has awesome HTML5 scores, the inbuilt browser is lucklastre.
Actually, the Android browser was also known as "Chrome Lite" in the first development iteration. Just like Chrome, it features the WebKit rendering engine and the V8 JavaScript engine, both being optimized for ARM. Mobile browsers are not suited for using draft elements, but it will eventually be improved just as well.

Excellent. The current version doesn't work so well on tablets and I'm glad to see Mozilla deciding to address it. Look forward to trying it out on my Iconia Tab.

Xerxes said,
Excellent. The current version doesn't work so well on tablets and I'm glad to see Mozilla deciding to address it. Look forward to trying it out on my Iconia Tab.

Indeed. I tried it on my girlfriend's Asus Transformer and it was pretty poor compared to the standard browser.

Prion said,
Why not get flash available with your mobile smartphone Firefox version first.

i was thinking the same
and maybe a little less crash

Prion said,
Why not get flash available with your mobile smartphone Firefox version first.

there was an article on TechDirt I read just yesterday that said Mozilla is focusing now on just that - provide a browser that doesn't absolutely suck donkeys and work on the phones, along with the support out there that is being requested by the public. Stay tuned to Mozilla to start pushing out phone mobile browser versions...

Prion said,
Why not get flash available with your mobile smartphone Firefox version first.

While yes, maybe the should, though I say focus on the speed first, it's pretty slow right now.
But yes it needs flash, mostly because most sites are made to deliver videos in a non-flash format for all ios devices but flash for everything else, I'd prefer if I could get the less laggy non-flash videos but until that happens I'd prefer to have flash available...