The Old   The New

before                                                          after

Mozilla has decided to change the tools used to build the Firefox for Android client front end, and changes are in store.  In it's current iteration, Firefox uses XUL (a cross-platform toolkit used to design widgets and user interface elements), but will be switching to native Android elements written in Java.  This will bring more than just changes to the look and feel -- expect much faster load times and better performance, at the cost of some of the more complicated menus and options that are currently offered.  As you can see in the pictures above (ignore the custom font on the rooted device used by Mozilla for testing -- go root!), this will bring a UI that looks more like we're used to on Android apps, and will fit in much better once Ice Cream Sandwich rolls along.  Of coruse, the performance improvements are the big bonus, as well as (hopefully) a smaller file size.  All in all, it looks like the right way to go here from the user perspective.  Too many options can be a bad thing, and performance improvements are always welcome.  With Flash getting killed off, the Gecko rendering engine will start to look like a great option in the near future.

They will begin open Alpha testing tomorrow, we'll be sure to have a look.

Source: Dknite's blog


Reader comments

Firefox for Android getting an overhaul to use native Java widgets and UI, will bring better performance


As was stated in the article and has already been discussed several times, Flash is dead/dying. We're switching to native HTML5, which is a good thing. Forget Flash.

That's nice - but i'm hardly going to choose one browser over another if it doesn't do things that the other one does, am i?

That said, i might try it for a bit when i get my new phone.

Agreed. To the idiots that say forget flash, I say, why? It's ubiquitous on the web right NOW, not in five years. Why should we limit ourselves NOW?

I'm sure you have got it right. Adobe just laid off 750 employees, and are in the process of re structuring the company. One of the changes is the elimination of support for mobile Flash. So the fact is that it not going to be 5 years before it becomes'a year tops!

So i guess calling others idiots when you the one misinformed makes you right, too bad it's only in your head. Stay delusional my friend...oh and by the way don't buy that google stock, they wont make any money for the next 5 yrs.

So you're saying that all the sites that incorporate Flash are going to spend big bucks to rebuild and redeploy in a YEAR so that they can capture a total mobile (vs. desktop) market share of 6% (and iOS isn't even 100% of that 6%)!!?? Talk about misinformed.

please someone explain to me why you can paste a 1z tracking number into firefox and google will direct you to ups website, but android browser will return "no results found" something tells me this will probably also stop in the new version of firefox.

BTW in blackberry browser and in desktop chrome/ie/ff it does direct you to the ups tracking page.

Will this be released through Firefox Beta via Google Market, through the Nightly Builds or via some other method?

The latest version if Firefox Beta imo is a bit faster than previous versions. This is a browser that's getting better. It still has issues with Swiftkey X at least on my Epic, which could be cause the keyboard. I thought they were working on a flash plugin for Firefox v10, but I wonder if that will be completely scrapped now.

Holy crap this version is faster. WAY faster. Page manipulation is way faster, too - like scrolling, dragging, rendering... Just about everything is faster. This version is very promising for the future of FireFox.

Unfortunately, it renders some pages horribly wrong - if at all. Still some big things to work out, but very promising. FINALLY.

Current page rendering seems to chop off the sides and bottom of most pages. I'm not impressed just yet but it looks promising!