Oct 18, 2010
Firefox 4 (formerly codenamed Fennec) has reached beta status and is available for download. The Mozilla team has been working hard on releasing a mobile browser with the same quality Firefox desktop users have come to expect. In fact, the mobile browser was built on the same technology platform as the desktop model. If you already use the desktop version, you will find the mobile browser to be a great companion with a familiar face.
Firefox 4 beta utilizes many features, some familiar, some new:
- Firefox Sync – Sign into your Firefox Sync account and start synchronizing your history, bookmarks, tabs and passwords between your desktop and mobile.
- Personalized Start Page – Instant access to your Firefox desktop tabs, the tabs you had open last time you were browsing on your phone, the Awesome Bar, and get suggestions for useful add-ons.
- Awesome Screen – This is really nothing more than what Mozilla likes to call their address bar. I guess they think it’s pretty darn awesome. It remembers all your favorite/most visited sites and provides you with a smart list. Just start typing and voila. Some people find it to be more of a nuisance but that’s what add-ons are for.
- Add-ons – The little extra pieces we’ve come to love and adore on Firefox. Add-ons are downloadable software extras that let you change/add features, functionality and the look of your Firefox to fit your browsing lifestyle. There are currently 1000 mobile add-ons for Firefox so feel free to use the Add-ons Manager to start downloading and customizing.
- Touch Friendly UI – Firefox keeps everything packed away while you browse but you can simply swipe left or right to gain access to all your tabs, browser controls and tools. You can view tabs as thumbnails and use one click bookmarking to ensure a quick and proficient browsing experience.
With this long list of features, it’s really easy to lose track of one aspect of improvement Mozilla has focused on while creating the mobile Firefox 4 beta, like the speed and responsiveness when graphic intensive actions are being performed. The developers remain focused on improving actions like scrolling, zooming and animations. While all of this is great news for people who use Firefox on the desktop or people who have been looking to ditch the Android stock browser (not sure why you would want to), there is still the issue of Flash support, which Firefox 4 beta currently does not support. Will this be a deal breaker for many? Sure. For everybody? No.
Source: Mozilla Mobile