Firefox blasts its way back onto Android with a new look and faster browsing
It has been a long time coming, but there has finally been a major update to the Android version of Firefox. The difference should be instantly noticeable; this is far from being a minor update and there is a completely new user interface that has been re-designed with the browser now making far better use of available screen space. The sleek curves of the tabbed browser are impressive, but it is not just the looks that have been given an overhaul.
Aside from appearance, the speed improvements that have been made in Firefox 14 are seriously impressive. Both in terms of app start times and the speed at which pages load, as well as general responsiveness, the browser now feels far smoother and quicker. Something that has been begged for for quite some time now is native support for Flash, and this has now been added along with tap-to-play for plugins.
The idea of the awesome bar has been extended into the ‘awesome screen’ which provides easy access to all of your bookmarks, browsing history and most visited sites. If you’re using Firefox on your Android device, it’s likely that you also use it on your computer. To help makes things easier, when moving between devices, synchronization of bookmarks, open tabs and more helps to create a more uniform experience.
Privacy is a serious concern for anyone using the internet, and the latest Android version of Firefox now uses HTTPS when you perform Google searches. For developers, there are plenty of changes that include support for HTML5 and additional CSS features and as you would expect, a large number of problem that were found in the previous version of the browser have now been addressed. Other improvements include better font readability and enhanced panning and zooming.
While the latest version of the browser is a vast improvement on previous releases, a dedicated tablet-friendly version is still in the making. The non-tablet-optimized version of the app will still work just fine for the time being, but it’ll good to see a special coded version that can take advantage of Honeycomb and the extra screen real estate of a tablet.
You can find out more and download a free copy of the app by paying a visit to the Firefox 14 for Android review page.