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02 February 2011, 10:01

Mozilla releases Firefox 4 Beta 4 for Android and Maemo

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Firefox 4 for Mobile Logo The Mozilla mobile project development team has announced the release of the fourth 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 includes a number of stability and performance improvements, making it "the fastest performing Firefox 4 Beta for mobile yet".

Firefox 4 Beta 4 for Android and Maemo features the addition of support for restartless add-ons and HTML5 online / offline events, as well as faster startup, quicker JavaScript performance, and CPU and memory use reductions. In addition, there are now more than 100 add-ons available for Firefox for Mobile.

Other changes include an option to resize text to fit the screen when users double-tap to zoom in (activated via the Firefox preferences) and miscellaneous bug fixes for the user interface; there are also Android-specific updates, such as fixes for several keyboard related issues based on feedback from the third beta, and better support for tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Firefox Sync user interface has also been improved.

The 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. The Android version of Firefox 4 for Mobile requires version 2.0 of the Android OS or later and 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, including a short video of the new features in action, can be found in a post on the Mozilla Blog and in the release notes. Users can download Firefox 4 for Mobile Beta 4 by visiting 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.

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