Mozilla releases Firefox 4 Beta 2 for Android and Maemo
The Mozilla mobile project developers have announced the release of the second beta of Firefox 4 for Mobile, also known as "Fennec", for the Maemo-powered Nokia N900 and various Android devices. According to the developers, the latest beta addresses a variety of issues reported from the previous release and includes a new theme, giving the mobile browser a "fresh new look". Details about the user interface updates can be found in a blog post by Mozilla Lead UX Designer Madhava Enros.
Based on user feedback, the second Firefox 4 for Android beta improves text rendering and reduces the applications overall memory usage. Additionally, the installation size on Android has been reduced by 60%. However, the developers note that, "Due to some technical limitations on Android, upgrading won’t remove some of the old files that are no longer needed". Users are therefore advised to uninstall the previous beta before installing the latest release to benefit form the size improvements. Other changes include faster and smoother panning and zooming actions, reduced page load times and updates to add-on functionality.
The new mobile versions of Firefox are built on the same browser engine as Firefox 4.0, version 2.0 of the Gecko rendering platform, and include several elements from their desktop counterpart, such as built-in support for Firefox Sync, add-ons and the "Awesome Bar" smart URL bar. Fennec for Android requires version 2.0 of the Android OS or later. A list of supported devices is available on the Mozilla Wiki. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.
More details about the development releases can be found in an announcement post on the Mozilla Blog and in the release notes. Users can download Firefox 4 Beta 2 for Mobile by visiting Firefox.com/m/beta from their Nokia N900 or Android-based device. The release notes also list downloadable versions of Firefox for Mobile on Windows, Mac OS X or Linux which allow developers to evaluate the browser without using either an Android device or a Nokia N900.
- No Firefox browser for iPhone, a report from The H.