I know. You thought Flash was long gone. You mourned the relationship and moved on. Having made peace with the past and exploring a bright future, you were ready to start a new life with HTML5. Now, thanks to Mozilla, your ex has come calling, bringing back all those old memories. But enough with the metaphors. The organization behind Firefox announced Shumway, an open SWF runtime project, today. With this, the company hopes to bring compatibility for Flash content back to the web, particularly on mobile.
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.
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.
As a fan of Ubuntu, I really love using Mozilla Firefox. In my opinion, it is the best desktop browser out there (sorry, Chrome). It was because of my love for Firefox that I became elated when I first heard that Mozilla would be developing a browser for the Android platform.
Having followed the development of Firefox for Android from an alpha and now to a beta, I jumped at the chance to interview software engineer Matt Brubeck, one of the lead developers of Firefox for Android.
Mozilla's been pretty good about keeping the mobile version of its ever-popular Firefox browser up to date (both with the current beta and with the old Fennec Alpha), and it looks like they have every intention to continue that trend. Just today, the third beta of Firefox 4 went live in the Android Market, bringing a number of minor additions along with it:
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.
We've seen Fennec (or Firefox for Android as it's now called) gradually progressing over the last few months, reaching a state of real usability in the last couple of weeks. There are many excited by Fennec's journey and the ability have a browser with near-full-desktop functionality, but it seems that even more struggle to see a place for another browser on their phone. After all, the stock Android browser is lightning-quick and works well enough for a pretty satisfying web experience.
Folks, I wish I could have the pleasure of telling you that what you're about to see is available now or even that it will be available in the next couple of years. Unfortunately, at this stage, this Seabird mobile phone concept, designed by Billy May for Mozilla, is just a dream. A dream, so beautifully projected in this video that it made me feel both sadness and happiness, inspiration and despair, awe and...
Mozilla Firefox for Android (also known as Fennec during development) has now reached a major milestone, with the release of the Alpha version being announced in a Mozilla blog post today by Stuart Parmenter. Joining Firefox Mobile as it enters the Alpha stage are a few more features than had been previously planned for implementation.
Amongst these features is Electrolysis, a very welcome addition to the latest builds, which separates the user interface and the content loading on the page in to two different processes, ensuring that the browser remains responsive even if a large page is being loaded.
Excited about finally having Firefox running on your Android phone? Not so fast - Firefox for Android, codenamed Fennec, is still in early alpha stages. However, an alpha build released a few weeks ago has given us a decent preview and instilled hope of a great browser to come.
After being quiet for some time, Stuart Parmenter and Vladimir Vukićević, Mozilla engineers, today announced that they had launched the Fennec nightly build system.