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Mozilla Releases Firefox 4 Beta For Android, Maemo

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the comes-the-fox dept.

Firefox 128

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has released the first beta of its Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo. The browser is based on the Firefox 4 core and should be released in the same time frame as the big brother. The mobile browser includes Firefox Sync, a cloud feature that enables users to sync browsing history, passwords, form-fill data and bookmarks, as well as open tabs." Android news site Androinica also mentions the release, and provides a small tutorial on installing beta apps for Android.

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Nice changes (-1, Troll)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831068)

I will not comment on the quality of the changes made, but here is a snippet from an article [limpet.net] comparing what is new in nice layout.

  • Syncs bookmarks, tabs, history, passwords, and form data to and from your phone. Firefox Sync and the Firefox Awesomebar help you enter URLs and passwords with less typing, and move seamlessly between your desktop and your mobile phone.
  • Lets anyone write add-ons that can customize any part of the user interface. (Dolphin HD is another Android browser with some great add-ons, but its add-ons are provided by the browser vendor.)
  • Uses the Jaegermonkey JIT, which is getting faster all the time. It runs JavaScript much faster than the Android 2.1 browser, and is starting to overtake the Android 2.2 browser on benchmarks in the WebKit SunSpider suite and elsewhere.
  • Supports web technologies like SVG, ECMAScript 5, WebM, and HTTP Strict Transport Security. Firefox for Android currently scores 217 points plus 9 bonus points on html5test.com. (Warning: Those tests can be deceptive; use them as a starting point for comparison only.)

More ways to leak memory!

Re:Nice changes (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831094)

Sigh, I wish that meme would die a horrible death. Fennec is new and they haven't worked all the bugs out of it, but the whole firefox ZOMG memory leaks thing is really, really old.

I've tried the portable version and it does have issues, but I haven't seen any evidence of leaks yet. Although admittedly since I've been using daily builds, I haven't been using it very much.

Re:Nice changes (4, Informative)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831316)

It uses 50MB RAM on boot, that's alot, but the app has worked pretty well for me so far. It's not bad, and the potential shines through. Sync works nicely, but there are some bugs with form data (saved data doesn't show up some times). Doesn't seem to like swype much, and forgets to bring up the software keyboard half the time. Page load times are a few seconds slower than stock android 2.2

Tested on my Samsung Galaxy S GT-i9000 running froyo XXJPK

Re:Nice changes (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832354)

Kind of ironic in a article about Firefox 4 beta coming to Maemo.

The N900 has a gig of ram after all. 50mb ram isnt so much even for (some) mobile devices.

Re:Nice changes (3, Informative)

Lukey Boy (16717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832444)

Actually, it has 256 megs of RAM and 768 megs of swap on an internal flash device.

Re:Nice changes (0, Troll)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833144)

Technically yes, but thats 768 megs of accessible ram that most Android devices dont have.

It does actually work exceptionally well. I've had 16 browser windows and a few chat windows open at the same time and its incredibly smooth.

Re:Nice changes (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33833196)

Dude, please don't sit there and pretend 768 MB of swap is anything like 768 MB of actual RAM. Seriously, just don't. Furthermore, a rooted Android device can be configured for as much swap space as your heart desires as well as compressed cache [cyanogenmod.com] .

Re:Nice changes (0)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833400)

Holy crap, and to think, I almost bought one of those instead of my Desire. Why the hell only 256MB? I mean, swap is fine and all, but it's not like 512MB or even 768MB would've bumped up the price much... the device was already expensive.

Glad I went with a Desire...

Re:Nice changes (0, Redundant)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833402)

Ah crap, ignore that comment please... my threshold.was too low and missed the post about the N900, making it look like you were talking about the Galaxy S... I was beginning to question my sanity.

Re:Nice changes (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834130)

Two reasons. First, the N900 uses the TI OMAP with the package-on-package configuration. The RAM connects directly to the top of the SoC, meaning that you don't need any motherboard traces or extra board real estate for the RAM chip. This helps keep the device small. I think you can get 512MB PoP modules now, but they are still very new.

The second reason is power consumption. It is very difficult to turn off part of the RAM, and because it's volatile it needs to be powered all of the time. Doubling the amount of RAM doubles the power that the RAM consumes. This impacts the battery life. Of course, swapping impacts it more (flash uses a lot of power for rewrites), but 256MB is quite a lot, so they are assuming it won't be swapping very often.

Re:Nice changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33833332)

I don't see anything compelling enough to draw me away from Dolphin HD.

There should be a spellcheck for meme infringement (3, Insightful)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832146)

Really every application leaks memory. I use Firefox and will continue to use Firefox regardless of it leaking on my desktop. Sure the portable version leaked early in Alpha stage a bit more than preferred from what I hear, but what I said was meant as a joke not an insult towards the device. My comment...

More ways to leak memory!

...also was completely ambiguous in relation to the four bullet points above I have no idea why people rated it as a troll, until I read your comment:

Sigh, I wish that meme would die a horrible death.

hedwards, I really am only halfway in tune with the latest memes it seems and I can see how my comment could have been annoying if everyone keeps on saying that memory leaks memory leaks (sorry Slashdot, oops)

There is a little red line that tells me when I am an idiot and cannot spell. I need a blue line or some different color to tell me where potential meme infringement may occur...

cheers

Re:There should be a spellcheck for meme infringem (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834990)

Really every application leaks memory.

Unless you and I have very different definitions of "leaks memory" this simply is not true.

Re:Nice changes (1)

wmac (1107843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832294)

Using FF4B for a few months has been the most torturous experience I have had with a software in my last 20 years of life as a programmer/developer.

I never thought Mozilla's standards could such that bad. Their beta 6 software is not even an Alpha quality software. Crashes, hang ups, GUI malfunctions etc. are all over the place.

Last night finally I exploded with anger and yelled myself: why are you doing this to yourself?!!! :( and then I launched FF3.6

If this low quality tradition continues, I will go with IE or even the spyware chrome.

Re:Nice changes (1)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833206)

Don't complain when incomplete software isn't complete.

Re:Nice changes (1)

wmac (1107843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833270)

My PhD is on software engineering and I allow myself to comment and complain every software I see. I complain software standards and processes and degradation of those standards in Mozilla.

Re:Nice changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33833446)

You of all people should understand what beta software is. Maybe instead of complaining you should submit bug reports. Do something useful with your vast understanding of software development.
Or just run release builds. Whichever squelches your whining.

Re:Nice changes (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834042)

Crashes, hang-ups and GUI malfunctions? That was pretty much the main feature of Netscape 4.x, which was not only stable software, but also the dominant browser platform. And you never used it?

Re:Nice changes (1)

silanea (1241518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834076)

Not to say that you may not well have experienced severe issues, but I have been running nightly versions since well before 3.6 and issues only came up a handful of times even with all experimental features enabled and a ton of extensions installed. Have you used an old profile with the beta or did you create a new one? This could be one possible (and easy to solve) cause for breakage and instability.

Browsers? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831144)

Don't really care about browsers supported by giant corporations. It's Firefox forever for me

As to the whole notion that somehow the browser writer sees my bookmarks - I have big problems with that.

Re:Browsers? (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831520)

Firefox Sync encrypts everything locally using your passphrase before sending to their server.

The Weave client creates a 2048-bit RSA keypair and a salt value, and derives a symmetric key from the passphrase and salt with PBKDF2. The private key is encrypted with that key and uploaded to the server, along with the salt and cleartext public key.

For each collection, a 256-bit bulk key and an IV are generated on the client. The bulk key is encrypted with the RSA public key and uploaded, with the IV, to the server.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Labs/Weave/Developer/Crypto [mozilla.org]

Re:Browsers? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831562)

Most of Mozilla's funding comes from Google (a giant corporation).

Re:Browsers? (2, Informative)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831564)

Good thing they can't, then, since all Sync data is very strongly encrypted, and only you get a copy of the encryption key.

Install it on your own server (2, Informative)

RonVNX (55322) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833892)

You can install Firefox Sync on your own server (like I have), and then Mozilla won't even see your encrypted data.

http://tobyelliott.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/weave-minimal-server/

MAAAAAAMOOOOOOOOOE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831186)

What the fuck is a maemo? Is it some sort of gump?

Re:MAAAAAAMOOOOOOOOOE !! (0, Troll)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831304)

That's one damn well-informed Anonymous Coward!

Get your news straight fella!

Re:MAAAAAAMOOOOOOOOOE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33833828)

Phone Nerd II: Wrath of Maemo

Firefox 8 (1)

igadget78 (1698420) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831248)

They should just jump to Firefox 8 to be on par with Microsoft IE and Google Chrome.

Re:Firefox 8 (3, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831310)

They should just go to 9 and reflect the fact that they're ahead.

Re:Firefox 8 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831404)

They should just go to 9 and reflect the fact that they're ahead.

Yep, they're certainly ahead in memory leaks.

Re:Firefox 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33833324)

Sigh, I wish that meme would die a horrible death. Fennec is new and they haven't worked all the bugs out of it, but the whole firefox ZOMG memory leaks thing is really, really old.

I've tried the portable version and it does have issues, but I haven't seen any evidence of leaks yet. Although admittedly since I've been using daily builds, I haven't been using it very much.

Firefox still has memory leaks. Just admit it. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33834436)

People like you are the reason why Firefox still suffers from memory leaks. I'm not talking about the memory leaks caused by extensions and plugins, either. I'm talking about the memory leaks we find when using a fresh installation of Firefox 3.6.10, for instance.

Just yesterday I installed Fedora 13, and downloaded Firefox 3.6.10 from mozilla.org. I didn't install any extensions or plugins. Not even Flash! I browsed some news sites, Slashdot, Digg, and Facebook. It wasn't even 30 minutes of browsing. At that point I noticed my computer was getting slow, so I checked top, and the Firefox process was consuming over 5300 MB of virtual memory. Over 3800 MB of that was resident, too. It was causing my system to swap pretty badly, since I only have 4 GB of RAM.

Deny it all you want, but that's caused by some pretty damn bad memory leaks. The leaks exist and are very serious regardless of whether you want to admit it or not.

I've since returned to using Chrome. It doesn't leak memory like Firefox does. I know I'm not alone, because Chrome's share of the market keeps growing and growing at the expense of Firefox's share.

Re:Firefox 8 (2, Funny)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831532)

9 AND a fucking second foaming aloe strip!

Re:Firefox 8 (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834146)

They would still be behind opera 10.

Re:Firefox 8 (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831534)

They should just jump to Firefox 8 to be on par with Microsoft IE and Google Chrome.

No, they should go to eleven.

Re:Firefox 8 (1)

JazzXP (770338) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831946)

Yes, because that worked out so well for Netscape.

The question is one of patents (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831290)

With Microsoft suing Motorola over "sync" features of their Android phone, I think it would be foolish for any phone maker to rush headlong with this browser suite.

The features are compelling, but it may be patent encumbered and may have the potential to embroil an OEM in litigation.

I hope it isn't patent encumbered, but I wonder if anyone has gone through the features with a fine toothed comb to determine the IP licensing requirements of manufacturers. That would actually be a pretty good resource to have.

Re:The question is one of patents (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831360)

Everything is patent encumbered, if we worried about that sort of thing nothing would ever get done.

Re:The question is one of patents (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832446)

Everything is patent encumbered, if we worried about that sort of thing nothing would ever get done.

And if we didn't worry about that sort of thing, nothing would ever get done because your business would be liquidated to pay damages to the plaintiffs who have successfully sued you.

Re:The question is one of patents (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833022)

This has as much to do with the manufacturer as patents on the latest fart app. This is done after the purchase, more than likely Android won't ship with anything else then some customized version thats already on there. Most companies will bastardize it with branding and plugins and that will in turn make people curious of alternatives. Being open source all of these companies with their IP will be able to see them coming a mile away and being open source it can be changed / fixed quickly. Being a Beta and free on top of it no one can really hold Mozilla to the grind stone because like Google's products it's in limbo anyway. Support for familiar extensions will bring a lot of people from the desktop to use it so I can't say it's a bad move.

MAAAAAAAAAEMOOOOOOOOE! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831298)

What the fuck is a maemo? Is it some sort of gimp?

Let me know STAT!

Re:MAAAAAAAAAEMOOOOOOOOE! (1)

montibbalt (946696) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831714)

You could probably run gimp in maemo, if that's what you're asking.

Re:MAAAAAAAAAEMOOOOOOOOE! (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832040)

linux used on various nokia devices, probably something else. deprecated for the horribly named but (i believe) similar meego, which is some sort of partnership with intel, if memory serves.

Re:MAAAAAAAAAEMOOOOOOOOE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33834980)

It's actually a form of debian used on four linux devices, the n770, n800, n810 and the n900. The n900 being the only device that is a cell phone.

Maemo isn't "linux in a box", like Android is. It's pretty much desktop linux, with multiple desktops, true multitasking(!), and command line interface if you desire it. You can probably compile any app for linux to work on maemo.

It's a very small section (the uber geek) of cell phone OS population, but it's the leader in terms of innovation.

Meego is a partership between intel and nokia to build a mobile linux OS. Meego will replace maemo.

Joke about the name all you want, but Maemo and Meego will both make you carry around your laptop a lot less. It's the closest thing to a pocket computer available anywhere.

Not impressed (4, Informative)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831348)

Ugly font rendering and kinda jerky on my G2. Also uses a fuckload of ram and storage. I'm not impresses.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831380)

Well, G2 isn't a high end android phone. It's just a mid range android with high screen resolution.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831856)

... its a web browser. It shouldn't require a high end processor or a ton of memory. If it does, its not that useful.

Re:Not impressed (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#33835188)

... its a web browser. It shouldn't require a high end processor or a ton of memory. If it does, its not that useful.

Really?

You may not have noticed, but over the last decade or so web browsers have become platforms... the critical point for application delivery. HTML5 will include support for offline web applications, and pieces of that infrastructure (e.g., web storage) are already shipping on desktop browsers.

I suspect that a browser centric application model will become even more important over the next few years, especially to enterprise app developers. Maybe precise parity with desktop browsers is not such a great idea, but I doubt that a world lass mobile browser will be much or even any more lightweight than its desktop counterparts. Not if we're talking, say, five years or so in the future.

I've tried out some "just a browser" browsers for use on old hardware, and while they are technically impressive for their efficiency, they have very limited usefulness. They're a lot better than no browser of course.

Re:Not impressed (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831954)

actually the G2 has some of the best performance based on some benchmarks from AnandTech [anandtech.com] . If it's running bad on the G2, it's probably going to be worse on a lot of other phones. Of course this is still a beta so things will likely improve before the actual release, but you can't just dismiss the issues as being due to the hardware.

Re:Not impressed (2, Informative)

lowlymarine (1172723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832180)

I just tried this out on my Galaxy S. That is the highest-end Android phone on the market right now and guess what? Still runs slower than a one-legged dog. It certainly doesn't help that nothing loaded as mobile versions, either (I suspect that it's failing to broadcast an Android user agent).

Re:Not impressed (2, Interesting)

quanticle (843097) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832540)

There's also the fact that it hammers the network connection incessantly, which absolutely kills the battery. I have a Galaxy S (T-Mobile Vibrant) and Firefox made the top three in the list of energy users after about ten minutes. This phone doesn't have an especially stellar battery to begin with. I don't need my web browser adding to the strain unnecessarily.

Re:Not impressed (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33833430)

There's also the fact that it hammers the network connection incessantly, which absolutely kills the battery

Network access is actually not the main reason it uses more battery power than you'd expect (although that might also be a factor depending on the website). The main reasons are timers and various miscellaneous inefficiencies. But the good news is that a large portion of that work has recently been finished, and consequently the current nightly builds will use much less power than the just-released beta. So by the next beta things should be much improved, and by the final release they should be even better, on par with other apps.

If you're curious, here's a technical blog post about the methods being used [blogspot.com] .

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831990)

use app2sd. storage problem solved

Re:Not impressed (4, Informative)

mbrubeck (73587) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831996)

This article [limpet.net] explains why the beta uses so much storage, and how we're making it smaller and faster in the next release.

Re:Not impressed (2, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833380)

That doesn't make it alright. This thing used about 30MB on my Desire, and I'm running Apps2SD with an EXT3 partition, meaning those 30MB probably all landed on /data/. You ARE aware that most Android devices currently out there have far less than 200MB of storage space, right?

Nevertheless, I installed it, and was severely disappointed. The performance is in NO way that of a typical Firefox beta, the menu button seems to be without function (seriously, wtf?), Sync asks me for a key of some sort (my memory is a bit wonky, but I have three laptops connected via Sync, and I don't remember a key of any sort), and the rendering is the worst I've seen yet.

As a huge Firefox fan, I'm so disappointed that I'm not sure I'll be trying the final. Unless that Apps is rebuilt from the ground up, it's just not fit for Android use.... Seriously, has anyone on the team actually compared the performance.and functionality to.the Webkit browser, or Firefox on any other platform, for that matter?

Now if this was a pre-alpha, or hell, a proof of concept, okay... but like this? I don't understand why you would release this :(

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33834794)

It is using 43.5MB on my N1 (no app2sd) - GOSH!

Re:Not impressed (1)

Quantumstate (1295210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33835290)

It is normal for sync to ask for a password/key. Otherwise anybody could grab your private data.

Re:Not impressed (2, Insightful)

denilson3 (925027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833364)

mistake to call this a beta and slap firefox brand on it so soon. this is pure crap still, pre-alpha stuff at least on my droid.

Wildfire: doesn't even start (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833678)

Ugly font rendering and kinda jerky on my G2. Also uses a fuckload of ram and storage. I'm not impresses.

I've just installed it on my HTC Wildfire, but cannot start it. It crashes after several seconds, without error message.

Re:Not impressed (1)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833938)

First impressions on my N900 - slow and unresponsive. The zooming action is not rendered smoothly and it takes a good few seconds to repaint the zoomed-in area at the new zoom level, in the meantime you're left with pixellated text from where the previous image has been scaled up.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33834718)

Ugly font rendering and kinda jerky on my G2. Also uses a fuckload of ram and storage. I'm not impresses.

Needs a built-in spellchecker too, I guess? ;)

Re:Not impressed (1)

RCGodward (1235102) | more than 4 years ago | (#33835242)

HTC Droid Incredible
Scrolling kind of sucks. At the top of the page it jumps around a lot. Font rendering on a fresh page load hurts my eyes, but if you drag to the right til you can see the "tabs" and then drag back it seems to fix it. I'll stick with the google browser for now.

terrible (2, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831366)

I just tried it and couldn't post here it was so aweful.

Font and/or font rendering was aweful (had to be much larger than either dolphin or default to be readable)

Double tap did not zoom enough (about 85 characters, I think it's keeping the pixel count true, but when I zoom I expect my characters to have at least one pixel between them, and many don't).

Slow, but I expected that as it's a beta.

The start page looks nice.

Re:terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831650)

Are you saying that it was full of awe?

Re:terrible (1)

martyw (1911748) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831754)

Android version has to do lots of calls through that problematic Java/Dalvik bindings, so the performance and memory usage is degraded, it will probably never be as quick as the native Android browser that doesn't need to deal with this. The other aesthetical complains like fonts will surely get fixed.

Re:terrible (5, Informative)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831776)

it wasn't because of firefox you couldn't post. it's mobile slashdot that suck donkey ass.

i tried at least 3 diferent mobile browsers and gave up.

on mobile space, slashdot is just like microsoft. they just don't get it

Re:terrible (3, Informative)

vigour (846429) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832252)

it wasn't because of firefox you couldn't post. it's mobile slashdot that suck donkey ass.

i tried at least 3 diferent mobile browsers and gave up.

on mobile space, slashdot is just like microsoft. they just don't get it

Try the classic comments mode. I have it set to that, and I no longer have problems reading /. from my HTC Legend.

Re:terrible (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833244)

Classic is better on iPhone at least but commenting is still a little tedious. The async response lags quite a bit.

Re:terrible (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832632)

considering I pasted it from my phone using the default browser I disagree.

Re:terrible (1)

vigour (846429) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833768)

considering I pasted it from my phone using the default browser I disagree.

You misunderstand me, I never made an assumption about the used browser. In fact I too use the default browser, so your point is moot.

Doesn't work... (1)

salted (1390595) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831368)

It just crashes on start... so much for being useful... I have Sprint's HTC Hero with Android 2.1.

Re:Doesn't work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831632)

It just crashes on start... so much for being useful... I have Sprint's HTC Hero with Android 2.1.

Wrong processor I'm afraid. There is an alpha that might work on your device, but honestly, why bother with a 30MB browser on a phone.

Supported hardware list (1)

mbrubeck (73587) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831938)

The beta release requires a newer processor than the Hero. See the system requirements [mozilla.org] page for details, and an experimental (non-optimized) build for older and low-end phones.

If only it was usable.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33831424)

Makes my over clocked 1ghz Droid1 come to a screeching halt. If i resize the webpage it just crashes out, after freezing up for a full 30 seconds... The UI (from what I saw of it before uninstalling) is impressive though. Each side is a swipe of the finger away and performs various functions. Very intuitive. Shows clear potential, but the size of the app and the CPU usage needs to come down hard and fast to be remotely usable....

Re:If only it was usable.... (4, Informative)

mbrubeck (73587) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831972)

There's a bug that causes random system freezes on the original Droid and the Droid 2: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=602252 [mozilla.org] Unfortunately we just discovered this today, too late to fix it for beta 1. We'll fix it before the stable release, of course.

Better, but... (3, Insightful)

Jethro (14165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831456)

I installed it on my Nexus One and tried posting this from there, but it's still way too unstable to do that (it didn't crash, but it kept scrolling/resizing in weird ways).

It's much improved over the Alpha, but one thing still bugs me.

Sync won't let you use your own server.

Firefox Sync is /the/ killer-app for me. It's really the only reason I'd want to use a different browser (barring EXTREME speed improvements), and they've neutered it to the point where it's, well, pointless. I've seen people request this feature ever since the pre-alpha days, to no avail.

Re:Better, but... (2, Informative)

mbrubeck (73587) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831988)

See bug 591661 [mozilla.org] where this is reported - one of the comments has a (slightly annoying) workaround to use your own sync server in Fennec.

Re:Better, but... (1)

Jethro (14165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832734)

Heh, that is a bit overcomplicated, but I'll give it a shot later.

Re:Better, but... (1)

Jethro (14165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832862)

Eeexcept that about:config brings up a blank page ): Looks like that bug report is for a previous version. Might be something for the current one, though. I'll look around.

Re:Better, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33833278)

about:config works for me (HTC Desire running 2.2 LeeDroid) and I was able to use the workaround listed in the bug report.

Re:Better, but... (1)

Jethro (14165) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833302)

Cool. I've had weird problems with Fennec on my N1 with cyanogen for a while. Maybe rebooting a bunch of times will help!

Ugh (3, Informative)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831472)

First big issue for me: the sync credentials page use some non-Android text box, so I can't copy my username/password from my password keeper and paste them in. I use large ugly generated passwords for stuff like that and I REALLY don't want to have to type them.

Waze does this crap too; why program *AROUND* the interface provided!? Seriously, your text boxes aren't precious snowflakes that are so special as to not use what the OS gives you (and supports).

Horrible, but better Java Script (1)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831660)

Firefox on Android is a painful experience. The zooming is jerky. The fonts are ugly. It's not very responsive to clicks. Absolutely a horrible experience. That said, there are sites that just plain didn't work with the default browser that do work correctly with Firefox on Android, so I'll keep it around for that.

If you haven't had any sites fail with the default browser, skip this for now. If you have, try them with Firefox. You'll probably keep Firefox installed just for those sites.

This Just In (1)

furgle (1825812) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831676)

Fox befriends Android, Android unable to feel emotions , Fox feels shunned and burns android's memory. The Droid police looking for "Fire" Fox...

Not ready for prime time yet (1)

lxnyce (1280956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33831908)

Really slow and jerky on my EVO. Google maps didn't work, so I immediately uninstalled.

Re:Not ready for prime time yet (1)

KayakFun (720628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834434)

On my Motorola Milestone with Android 2.1:
  • Default browser startup 1s, Newspaper m.volkskrant.nl 3 s.
  • Firefox 4b startup 8s, Newspaper m.volkskrant.nl 3s.

Especially for a mobile browser, that's a slow start as it is more likely to be started multiple times per day,rather than burn the batteries by being on or in the background.

Furthermore I had to throw out a lot of applications to make room for the apk file. It's huge, and it needs to slim down considerably.

Conclusion, although I'm a Firefox fan, is that they need to work on install size and startup speed before I will use it as my first choice.

Doesn't work on Pandigital Novel, nor on N800 (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832250)

The install file for Maemo won't install on an N800 (evidently, only the newer N900 - that is one thing I don't like about Nokia; when the newer version comes out, kiss support for the older versions goodbye).

The Android file might "work" on Android 2.0 or later, but it doesn't work on a Pandigital Novel - it looks like it wasn't built for ARM5.

Re:Doesn't work on Pandigital Novel, nor on N800 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33832482)

The install file for Maemo won't install on an N800 (evidently, only the newer N900 - that is one thing I don't like about Nokia; when the newer version comes out, kiss support for the older versions goodbye).

That is exactly why NOKIA bought mozilla. It is part of their evil plan of dropping support for older... wait a minute!

On another note the install file for maemo installs fennec 1.1 and not 4beta

Re:Doesn't work on Pandigital Novel, nor on N800 (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832596)

yes. And since we don't have good drivers for the gps, mer is not an option for me...
I would love a more stable/customizable OS for my n810, but I don't think it will happen.

Dolphin is the closest Firefox (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832572)

Enough said... Want a decent browser for Android that reminds you of Firefox? Use Dolphin Browser HD.
The only difference is the lack of Add-ons, the rest is pristine.

Re:Dolphin is the closest Firefox (1)

bbruun (1697266) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834530)

I second that. Have used it since I was on Hero with Android 1.5 (no HD version) and now on my Desire. It works, is fast, has the needed customizations that are usefull for a browser on a mobile device, easy bookmarks and does flash ok to a degree - still have some issues, that seems to have stopped after the Adobe 10.1 flash update... Kudos to the Dolphin Browser developers for a great job !

bad first impression (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832874)

I downloaded this tonight for my droidx and my first impression is not good. In about and hour of use i had to force close twice, the phone was horribly slow while it was running, and pages looked terrible. Maybe the next release ill give it another go.

Android Firefox == Muffet? (1)

wallsg (58203) | more than 4 years ago | (#33832890)

If it's an Android Firefox maybe they should have name it Muffet, assuming a firefox is like a daggit.

others (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833512)

I'll stick with Opera Mobile. It's clearly head and shoulders above the competition, and the only place where it isn't(Flash support) there are other browsers(like Skyfire) to pick up that little bit of slack.

Re:others (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834586)

I was a big Opera Mobile fan, as I was longtime Blackberry user. Opera gets UIs on constrained devices. That said, my wife recently bought me an iPhone, and the usability of Safari is unquestionably better than Opera. This is probably largely due to the iPhone's better hardware. Anyway, I'm posting from my iPhone, something I could never do reliably from my Blackberry.

11+ MB? (2, Informative)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833530)

It's a really huge application in the Android world, though.
I hope the RCs and the finale releases will be slimmer.
And I hope it will get its way to the market.
And I hope Google will release Chrome for Android as well, a main missing app there.
Welcome the the mobile browser wars.

Sync Key (1)

stobrd (1820042) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833956)

With the HTC Desire, when you enter the Sync Key the key is visible and what bothers me more, it get's stored in the keyboard dictionary as an unknown word. Why not handle it like a password as the desktop version does? And when visiting http://www.google.com/ [google.com] I wasn't automatically redirected to http://www.google.com/m [google.com] . I don't know if this works with other websites.

Uuh, no FF4 for Maemo. (1)

Apotekaren (904220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33833992)

Just (re)installed what I thought was the Firefox-4 beta linked in TFA on my N900.
Error message "Fennec already installed".
Uninstalled the original Firefox for Maemo that I had, installed the linked version, and hussah!
Version information confirms the Maemo-Firefox is Fennec-3.6, not a beta of 4.0

So old news on the part of Maemo.

Tried it and uninstalled it less than 5 min after (2, Informative)

bbruun (1697266) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834354)

I just tried to install it. Needed to clear some space from other applications, as FF4 beta for Andriod takes up 40+Mb - that is a huge amount for a mobile app, compared with eg Dolphin Browser HD at approx. 3½Mb.

Boot time (initial start of FF when not returning to it, but used a task killer) is as slow as booting my Ubuntu 10.04 desktop 64bit system with 8Gb RAM - not good.

Firefox does render a page nicely, without much difference from the desktop version, but renders it in fullscreen (entire page on screen).
No setting for "mobile view".
No easy setting for default zoom level. When following a link, the next page is rendered at the same fullscreen zoom, so new zoom is needed.
Click an Ajax link that updates a

and the browser returns to the top of the page - not optimal, but it didn't reset the zoom...

There aren't any customizations that are easily available, not enven enough to compare with a small fast browser like DB mentioned above or SkyFire. The general look/feel of FF for Android is a very basic app that should still be in alpha as the customization menu is very odd and not polished compared with other smaller and similar programs.
Mozilla, please don't make Android apps that divert from the way Android apps are supposed to do, use the menues, and respect the backbutton when pressed... aka kill your current download/render of a page if the backbutton is pressed, don't continue working on something that the user want's to stop.

My device is HTC Desire with latest HTC Android 2.2, so it is not an old G1 I'm using, though FF4 beta for Android feels like it is running on a G1.

Re:Tried it and uninstalled it less than 5 min aft (1)

bbruun (1697266) | more than 4 years ago | (#33834500)

Just saw a bug in my post above:
Click an Ajax link that updates a

and the browser returns to the top of the page - not optimal, but it didn't reset the zoom...

Should be:
Click an Ajax link that updates a <div> tag and the browser returns to the top of the page - not optimal, but it didn't reset the zoom...

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