It may have become the underdog now compared to the ubiquity of Chrome, but Firefox isn't letting that excuse hinder its improvement and development. The latest beta of Firefox for Android proves that by fixing some issues, adding support for requested regional features, and enhancing performance thanks to a few HTML5 additions.
Most notable are the srcset attribute and <picture> element support in HTML5. These allow web developers to point to various sizes of the same image that load based on the device you are browsing on. When used appropriately, the <picture> syntax only downloads the image for its specific context (screen resolution, size, orientation), and hence leads to more responsive page loading. Read More
Earlier this year, Mozilla introduced Firefox Accounts, an easier way to sync all the good stuff like your passwords, bookmarks, history, and open tabs across multiple devices. This is far from Firefox's first rodeo, as the browser has had support for syncing data since Chrome was a baby, but this introduces in a further degree of ease-of-use and consolidation that users have come to expect. Now the functionality has found its way into the latest version of the Firefox Beta Android app. Read More
The security of our mobile apps and private data is a very serious matter. This is particularly true for high value targets like web browsers, which often store login credentials that can be used to access many of the websites we use on a regular basis. Unfortunately, browsers are also very complicated applications with an extensive set of features that are difficult to lock down completely. Sebastián Guerrero Selma of viaForensics recently posted a video demonstrating a newly discovered vulnerability in Firefox for Android which would allow hackers to access both the contents of the SD card and the browser's private data. Read More
A very serious security hole has been discovered in Firefox for Android that allows a website to force the browser to download and run potentially damaging files, usually without the user's knowledge or interaction. The vulnerability was first described and demonstrated publicly on September 9th as part of a posting meant to advertise the attack as being for sale. The method for exploiting the weakness simply requires a webserver to instruct Firefox for Android to initiate a download, after which the downloaded file is automatically opened or executed (depending on the file type). Read More
The team behind Firefox for Android teased the upcoming release with a tablet-friendly design back in late August, and the final version of FF9 just landed in the Android Market. The update not only features a specialized tablet interface, but also boosts performance and startup speed and brings some HTML5 tweaks to the scene, like camera input support and form validation.
The tablet interface offers some nice features over its phone-centric counterpart, like full-screen browsing in portrait, optimized tabs for easy thumb-switching between open pages, and a quick access buttons on the Action Bar. Read More
Firefox is finally getting flash support. Support for the plugin landed in the nightly builds a few days ago - meaning you can try it yourself, right now.
If you want to experience the magic of flash on Firefox, you can try out the latest trunk build right here (pick the .apk file). A word of warning though, it crashes. A lot.
It really works!
Luckily they've got tons of time to work the bugs out. Read More
Firefox for Android has come a long way since the project hatched as "Fennec" many months ago - there is no doubt about that. What started as a bloated, slow, and buggy pile of crap (really, it was bad), is now one of the greatest browsers Android has to offer (add-ons ftw!). Don't get me wrong - it's still lacking quite a few features - notably, Flash support, faster font redraw on zooming, better startup times, etc., but Mozilla knows this and is working hard on the next version - 5.0. Read More
Mozilla has announced a release candidate of Firefox 4 for Android and for Nokia Maemo.
Firefox 4 RC for Android features several updates including faster scrolling, a better and more responsive version of Firefox Sync, and an overall improvement in the user experience. Other features include: text reformatting on zoom, a slimmed down on-screen form helper and find-in-page function, copy and paste in form fields, character encoding and other smaller improvements since Beta 3. Read More
Blocking obnoxious ads while browsing the web is something that I believe should come built-in to all browsers, or at least those on mobile devices with limited bandwidth. Although the beta version of Firefox 4 for Android (aka Fennec) released some time back, it was only yesterday that Adblock Plus released a development build for its seminal ad-blocking extension for the mobile version of Firefox.
According to the Adblock Plus devs, everything seems to be working smoothly, save for the following:
- do-not-track support is not working; and
- the number of synchronous requests needs to be reduced (on the to-do list)
Unfortunately, the user interface of ABP on the mobile version of Firefox is quite limited as you are only able to subscribe to one filter at a time. Read More
As we've seen in the last few days, The Artist Formerly Known As Fennec has really been hitting its stride lately. Riding on this wave of improvement comes a shiny new Beta status, making Fennec now, officially, Firefox 4 For Android Beta.
We won't labour you with details, as many words have been written before about F4FA's arduous journey towards usability. Just get out there and download it.
You might also want to check out Mozilla's official blog post, and their little promotional video at the source link below. Read More