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20 November 2012, 11:09

Firefox for Android 17 expands device support

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Firefox logo With the release of an updated Firefox for Android app, Mozilla has greatly expanded the list of Android-based devices that can run its open source mobile web browser. This is because version 17.0 of Firefox for Android is the first stable branch release to support the older ARMv6 processor architecture; previously, it only supported hardware with an ARMv7 CPU.

The mobile app can now run on various ARMv6-based devices with at least 512MB of RAM and CPUs running at 800MHz or faster. According to Mozilla's announcement, the change means that Firefox for Android should now be able to run on millions of additional devices as approximately half of the nearly 500 million Android smartphones currently in use are built on the ARMv6 architecture. Among the newly supported Android smartphones are the Samsung Galaxy Ace, the HTC Status and ChaCha, Motorola's Fire XT, and the LG Optimus Q.

In addition to expanded device support, version 17 introduces initial support for web applications written in HTML5, JavaScript and CSS, and improves security by implementing the Sandbox attribute for frames. The update also includes new accessibility features that should make it easier for users to browse the web. For devices running Android 4.0 or later, hardware and software decoder support for h.264 video has been added.

Other changes include the reduction of profile size, I/O improvements related to SafeBrowsing, updates for developers, and stability improvements for the recently released Android 4.2. The new version also corrects a bug that caused it to delete text both in front of and behind the cursor when holding the backspace button.

Further information about the update, including a list of known issues, can be found in the release notes. Available to download from the Google Play store, Firefox for Android 17.0 is licensed under the Mozilla Public Licence, version 2.0.

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