The newest version of Firefox Beta for Android is out on the Market now, and it brings a slew of UI changes, performance improvements, and other fixes and enhancements. Just check out this condensed changelog:

New in this release for Android:

  • New initial experience: Firefox starts faster and uses less memory. Get to your home page quickly and discover browser features on the side panels.
  • Higher-quality image scaling: View crisp Web pages and images with less pixelation
  • Enhanced Firefox experience on large screen tablets
  • Improvements to the form helper on Android
  • Fresh visual style on Gingerbread OS
  • Optimization for pages that use right to left layout rendering, e.g. in Hebrew and Arabic
  • Touch Events for better interaction with Web pages
  • IndexedDB allows Web pages to store data offline for faster access
  • Automatic text hyphenation

This is the first app I've seen to fully utilize Gingerbread-style menus:

snap20110708_175152 snap20110708_175156 snap20110708_175227

Unfortunately, it remains rather sluggish - at least on my Nexus One. Then again, I've yet to find a third party browser I really enjoy, so I'm probably not the best person to ask. Compared to previous builds of Firefox for Android that I've used, it does seem a bit quicker - but not by a huge margin.

Let us us know what you think of Mozilla's latest release of its Android browser, in the comments.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Scooterman1

    It doesn't seem to support Flash. At least, not on my website. I'm on and EVO.

    • http://mgamerzproductions.blogspot.com Mgamerz

      It never has. Hopefully it will make it, but I think it's cause of licencing. I wish they would just have it there, but with something like noscript only allowing it when you want. That'd be nice.

    • Grits

      Adobe made Flash for Android with hooks into Webkit so until Adobe and Mozilla can work these dependancies Firefox won't support Flash and Mozilla will continue to get the blame for Adobe's bad programming.

    • aj

      Skyfire is still one of the best third party browsers out there.

      • aj

        There was supposed to be more to that comment. I think it's one of the best third party browsers because of the Flash support and the huge amount of options. Not to mention built in Facebook and Twitter extensions.

  • http://mgamerzproductions.blogspot.com Mgamerz

    I really wish it could use google and it's mobile services like the stock browser. User agents make it but it screws all of it up...
    I hate mobile google. I want the android version of it. Or whatever it is.

  • http://east73.com Michael

    I'm a pretty big fan of XScope. Light, fast, and a few cool features.

  • Bill

    14.2 MB download,talk about bloatware!

    • Gook

      It uses its own rendering and java engine...thats why.

  • Anthony

    I prefer Dolphin Browser Mini. I like having tabs always visible at the top of the browser. I don't want to push a button to see what tabs I have open.

  • todd

    its junk until it has flash

  • Gogol

    Opera Mobile is perfect for me on Nexus S :)

  • hillbilliegreg

    Well you post a headline about how wonderful firefox is, but you really said that it sucks, did mozilla pay for the headlines,, org were you just copying and pasteing from the release notes ? When I take the time to read your stuff I want YOUR TAKE not mozilla s

    • Cody

      The headline said nothing about it being wonderful, just completely factual information stating that fixes and enhancements were made.

  • jim

    So how fast does this load people? Any quicker (the initial loading of the app)?

  • http://rootandroid.net Root Android

    It hasn't crossed much time since they came up with the Firefox 5. The next version beta is already out!

    • M

      Firefox is on a more rapid release schedule now, so there'll be releases more often, but each will have a smaller set of new features than when it used to take a year or more to put one together.

  • Genisis

    Would be satisfied with the default browser if it just had a CLOSE APP icon or option.

  • GigiAUT

    I tried Firefox out for a while but ended up kicking it to the curb. For one, it's a big fat file to download and install compared to other browsers. Second, I can't find the "Share" feature so I can send web pages back to my chrome browser on my desktop. Third, no flash. I need flash. And lastly some of the plug-ins don't really work.

  • Andrew / Des Moines

    I use it sometimes just because it syncs with my desktop bookmarks.

  • MartinKification

    If you really want a browser to enjoy take the Maxthon browser!

  • Karl

    Does anyone know if Firefox 6 will fix what some are calling Firefox scroll problems on Android phones?