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Friday, 4 March 2011

Firefox 4 Beta: Will this change the Android browsing experience?



February 2011 Mozilla launched Firefox 4 Beta 5 for Android. This is the most significant app release in 2011. The Android platform has a very solid web browser built in. The WebKit uses Google Chrome’s own Javascript V8 Engine which speeds up page rendering and makes for a sleeker browsing experience. The other offerings of browsers like Opera, Skyfire or Dolphin have lacked this powerful central powerhouse engine. Gimmicky is another charge often levied towards the non-Android built-in browser. Skyfire for example streams Flash content and Opera loads pages quicker because it caches the page from its own serves. But these technologies dont really work day-in-day-out on smartphones. This is where FireFox comes in.

firefox android pic

The Firefox browser is so powerful that it cannot be used on pre ARMv7 chipset phones. So there goes the Sony Ericsson X10 phones or LG Optima phones or even the HTC Wildfire. You need a minimum of 1Ghz processing power along with 512mb RAM and a minimum of 17mb storage on a SD Card or internal memory. It also works with Flash 10.1 to maximise the Android web experience and it requires Android 2.2 as a minimum OS specification.

Another great function that Firefox enables users to work with is ‘syncing’. It will take your bookmarks and other data from your PC/Mac and shift them to your Android Firefox device. Meaning you can merge your online behaviour from your PC to your portable device.

For more information on supported systems, news from Mozilla or to download Firefox for your Android device visit Firefox website at http://www.mozilla.com/en-GB/m/beta

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