Firefox 4 Beta 2

As somebody who hasn't switched from Firefox to Chrome for their desktop browsing needs, I'm very excited about how nicely Firefox 4 for mobile is shaping up.  I'm sure my excitement isn't lost on the rest of the Android community either.  One of the best aspects of Android is the seemingly endless amount of options and alternatives we have to its stock apps.  Could you imagine using a device that didn't let you install a third-party browser?

Quite a few improvements have been made to Firefox 4 for Android, and we know you love software updates as much as we do.  So join me after the break for more info, some screenshots, and most importantly, a download link. [Mozilla]

So what's new in Firefox 4 Beta 2?  Well, quite a bit actually.  If you're the type (and you very well could be) that installs nightly builds like they're going out of style, then you probably aren't going to find anything here to make you say "Oh, sweet." but the rest of you might.

UI improvements

Right at first launch you'll notice its UI tweaks.  It's been given a minor face-lift to give it more of an Android feel.  Now you will find Android "themed" elements all throughout Firefox 4 Beta 2.  Most noticeably are the bubble-style popups, context menus, and and toolbar.

Firefox 4 Beta 2

Reopen most recently closed tab

Whether you're browsing on your desktop or mobile phone, accidentally closing a tab just sucks, especially if you're in a hurry.  There are ways to easily recover a closed tab on your desktop, but until Firefox 4 Beta 2, there was no feature built into any mobile browser to rectify this problem.  Now we have a button built into the sidebar that will automatically reopen the most recently closed tab.  No need to dig through the menu, or use the onscreen keyboard.  Just slide open your sidebar, and tap the reopen button.  Pretty slick.

Firefox 4 Beta 2

Enhanced sharing

Every Android user should be more than familiar with its sharing system.  And now Firefox 4 Beta 2 is introduced to that Android sharing system.  Now we can share links, pictures, and URLs via Facebook, e-mail, Gmail, SMS, Bluetooth, etc, etc.

Firefox 4 Beta 2

Vastly improved Awesomescreen

The Awesomescreen just got even more awesome.  As if having access to your desktop bookmarks and history on your mobile device wasn't just flat out awesome enough, Firefox 4 Beta 2 will now help you figure out where these results are coming from.  If your search through the Awesomescreen is pulling results from your desktop browser, it will include a small icon to let you know "Hey, you were just reading this on your desktop."

Firefox 4 Beta 2

Like I said before, I'm impressed with Firefox 4, and it's giving me lofty expectations as to what I can expect from a final build.  It's still a little rough around the edges, but , closing gap between experimental and stable build.

These builds aren't available on the market, so you'll have to grab the .APK here from Mozilla's own FTP.


Reader comments

Firefox 4 steps up to Beta 2


Super slow, lack of settings customization, text entry issues in browser bar and takes up over thank you [for now].

D1 (unrooted)
Stock 2.2 FRG22D

Firefox sync AKA Weave makes me want this to to win big. It still has so long to go, but having all my passwords, search history, and bookmarks available on all my browsers without me needing to ever do anything is great. Plus this is a ground up development. This isn't webkit at its core. That means competition in a space where there really is none (until Opera is released), and that is also a win for all.

I'm going to try this out. I did put the link for the FTP site into QR code form so I can help you all out:

I will see how this works :)

4.0b3pre seems to be available after you install 4.0b2pre. Goto the about screen hit the check for updates box and it should download. It did for me anyways. Will test it out more later but it seems better already.

Something a little strange, fennec pre beta had the fennec icon, beta 1 switched to the firefox icon, now its back to the fennec icon. I downloaded the file from the link above so I think I got the right update. Just strange they would switch back away from the firefox icon.

It has to support Flash before I'm even willing to try this. The day I check settings and see Flash options will be the day I give this browser a try. I use Skyfire 99% of the time and LOVE it...I cannot go back to not having Flash. I simply miss too much content without it.

Android Central, will you PLEASE get your spam filter under control. I just had a completely on topic post flagged and removed by your auto spam filter.

I uninstalled 4.0b3pre (fennec), went to the firefox download page and downloaded again and got 4.0b2 (firefox). This is a little confusing as both versions appeared to be similar meaning they were both much different than beta 1. Are these basically the same thing but the fennec version still getting faster updates since that one goes to version b3 while the firefox version stays at b2?

"Fennec" is the code-name used for nightly builds of mobile Firefox (just like "Minefield" is the code-name for nightly builds of desktop Firefox). "Firefox" is the name used for official beta and final releases.