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22 November 2011, 12:47

New user interface for Firefox on Android

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Zoom Firefox for Android 8.0 uses XUL for its UI
The next developer version of Firefox for Android, which will be put together as part of tonight's (Tuesday) Nightly build, will include a fundamental change to the browser's user interface. The new build of the mobile web browser, also known as "Fennec", will implement a native Android user interface (UI) and no longer use XUL, an XML-based language that is interpreted by the Gecko rendering engine.

Firefox's development team is, however, remaining with the Gecko rendering engine. In the absence of XUL, it can now be launched in parallel to the user interface, which should reduce start up time from several seconds to just a fraction of a second. The new native UI should also mean that Fennec will use less memory.

Unless unforeseen delays arise, all existing users of the Firefox for Android Nightly build will be greeted with an update message on Wednesday morning and will be able to update to the new build, which will become the 11.x branch. The Nightly build version is aimed at developers and testers and will eventually graduate to the Aurora channel, then the Beta channel and finally the Release channel of Firefox for Android.

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