In line with the desktop version, Mozilla also released the latest update of their browser for Android smartphones and tablets. The mobile browser, known as Firefox 9 for Android, has been redesigned by the company to have an optimal look and functionality on tablets. In addition, Mozilla has done its part to ensure that the overall size of the app only consumes a minimal space; taking only 128 KB when moved to its SD card.
Apart from the difference in memory space, the app has allowed an integration with Firefox Sync so that the user’s browsing history, bookmarks, saved passwords and open tabs can be accessed between desktop computers and mobile devices. This gives its user less necessity to type and instead, browse more.
In this new latest update, Mozilla attempted the app to produce a visual, much similar to a magazine’s outline. One of the most noticeable changes is the left hand thumbnail column, an area normally tucked away, has been converted to provide a tab-like feel which connects an actual page with a thumbnail. In addition, Mozilla has put in an additional Action Bar menu beside the Awesome Bar. This allows its user to access Add-ons, Firefox Preferences, downloads and more.
For HTML5 developers, the launch of the new Firefox app also means more functionality. Mozilla has included some tools such as the HTML5 Input Tag for Camera Access, a feature in which tablet owners get an ability to take pictures or scan bar codes on their browser without loading the device’s external camera app. Moreover, the updated browser supports HTML5 Form Validation API that validates website form fields automatically in order to get information such as email, number, or URL. Contrary to old browsers, developers no longer need to make use of a third party library or write a custom code for this functionality.
Sadly, Android users have not shown a liking for the new release and even give it terms like ‘still not ready for prime time,’ ‘flaky when going back and forth between landscape and portrait,’ and ‘sluggish, unresponsive, and essentially unusable.’ This may have something to do with the updated UI not appearing on Kindle Fire users. We’ll still have to look out for later versions that have addressed these issues.
To download the new browser, click here.
[Source: Toms Guide]