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04 January 2012, 13:00

Firefox Aurora for Android gets native UI

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Zoom Firefox Aurora for Android includes a new native user interface
Mozilla has published a new version of Firefox for Android to its Aurora development channel; the version 11 branch was previously only available as a Nightly build. The open source mobile web browser now uses a native Android UI. Traditionally, Firefox implementations have used XUL, an XML-based language that is interpreted by the Gecko rendering engine. According to its developers, the new native UI should provide improved start-up and page load times, while also using less memory. The new native UI also brings a completely re-designed interface and start page.

The new version brings back support for Adobe's Flash Player plug-in. Some features have been removed for the time being, but should be added again in future updates to the Aurora channel – these include support for Firefox Sync and installing additional add-ons. The Aurora version also does not include the tablet optimised features that were recently introduced; the developers recommend that users who want those features use the version of Firefox currently in the beta channel.

Firefox Aurora for Android can be installed alongside the current 9.0 release, allowing both to be used on the same device. Users testing the release are asked to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find. The version in Aurora channel will eventually graduate to the Beta channel and then finally the Release channel of Firefox for Android.

More details about the new version in the Aurora channel can be found in the release notes. System requirements and download information for Firefox Aurora for Android can be found on the Mozilla Wiki. Like its desktop counterpart, Firefox for Android binaries are released under the Mozilla Firefox End-User Software License Agreement and the source code is released under disjunctive tri-licensing which includes the Mozilla Public License, GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1.

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