Mozilla has released a completely refreshed version of Firefox for Android platform. If you have a compatible Android device (ARMv7 & Android 2.2+), install it from Google Play (alternatively,download .apk file) and give it a try – you will not be disappointed!
Let’s explore 14 super awesome features of Firefox 14 for Android which make it the best browser on Google’s mobile operating system:
- Support for Flash: Firefox on Android now supports Flash, which means you can watch flash content like YouTube videos right inside the browser.
- Quick Launch: Firefox 14 has improved startup time. Check the following video to see it in action:
- Native Support: Earlier versions of Firefox mobile were based on the Mozilla’s XUL framework. This XML-based framework is used in almost all Mozilla products including the Firefox on desktop. But, starting with Firefox 14, Mozilla has moved to Android’s native widgets framework written in Java. Due to this big change, speed and stability of Firefox has increased many times.
- Speed and Performance: Firefox is now much faster on Android. Fox example, the following graph compares, Canvasrendering operations of different browsers:
- Sync: Users can set-up synchronization of browsing history, bookmarks and other data across desktop and mobile devices. This integrated feature is easy to setup and doesn’t require any extension or plug-in. Just to remind you here, Chrome also supports data sync across mobile and desktop installations, but it is available only on ICS.
- SPDY: Firefox 14 on Android supports Google’s SPDY protocolsimilar to its desktop counterpart. SPDY is highly innovative project and proposed to become part of HTTP 2.0 specifications. Many sites, including Twitter.com, have already started using SPDY.
- Do Not Track: Yes! Firefox on Android is probably the first mobile browser to add support for Do Not TrackHTTP header. It is disabled by default, as it should be, and users can enable it manually.
- Add-ons: There are many add-ons available for Firefox Mobile which can extend the functionality of the browser easily. You can explore these extensions on AMO here. Dolphin HD is the only other popular browser on Android with support for extensions. Moreover, Opera team is also working on extension support for Opera Mobile browser.
- Master Password: As Firefox (and almost all other browsers) can save your usernames and passwords, it is quite necessary to protect your browser from unauthorized use. Once a user sets a master password, he/she will be prompted for it whenever Firefox needs to access stored passwords. This feature is also available on Firefox desktop. To learn more about master password, refer this documentation.
- Awesome Screen: Firefox 14 for Android has been shipped with a super useful start screen which provides quick access to bookmarks, tabs from last browsing session etc.
- Support for WebGL. It is supported for long which adds interactive 3D graphics without requiring any third-party plug-in like Flash.
- HTML5 APIs: Firefox for Android supports various HTML5 APIs like Camera APIs and Geolocation APIs. Mozilla is currently working on many other open standard APIs through its WebAPIinitiative.
- Tab management: Managing opened tabs has become much easier with the latest version of the browser. The top toolbar contains a dedicated button to manage tabs along with the address bar. Tapping on this button opens tab list with page thumbnails and titles – which makes it easier to identify and switch to a particular tab.
- FREE and developed by Mozilla: This is the biggest advantage. Mozilla is a non-profit organization dedicated to the benefit of open web and users. :-)