Youtube link for mobile viewing

There's a lot of talk around these parts (especially lately) about "openness." And one of our favorite examples of "open" is Mozilla and Firefox. It's an open-source browser, developed in the open. And I've been following the development of Firefox Mobile (previously known as Fennec) way back from its start (and finish) with Windows Mobile.

So it was quite the treat to meet with Mozilla principal project manager Thomas Arend at CTIA and give the release candidate of Firefox for Android a spin.

Forget the early complaints that previous builds were too big and too slow. Now that Firefox is just about ready for release, it's lighter, faster and is about to become my daily mobile browser, thanks to Mozilla's excellent sync system.

Anyhoo, check out the video above, and there's a more formal video with Thomas after the break.


Reader comments

Firefox for Android Release Candidate


i don't understand the love relation between AndroidCentral and Firefox. Opera Mobile (which in my opinion, runs much smoother and is more polished than Firefox) never gets as much love. Are the devs active on the forums here or something?

Streaming Flash videos on Android is ALWAYS less than optimal anyways, so I don't mind the lack of Flash support. Firefox Mobile and sync has been awesome.

Firefox 4, however...

The beta versions were huge and a little slow and crashy on my Nexus One, but the release candidate is fantastic. It's pretty much become my daily browser.

Awesome bar? Is he serious, you can type an in stock browser and see pop up this is nothing new or awesome. But firefox sync is kinda cool.

exactly what i was thinking.........only difference is i actually only need to press the button once! I dont see how this browser is better than the Android browser, except for the tabs, but how hard is it to press menu, then windows? besides....swiping to the left and it always bringing up the tabs could get annoying after a while! the Android browser is already among the fastest mobile browsers ever made! besides....Chrome > Firefox!

Did the guy trying to promote his browser for Android really start talking about what they can and can't do on the iPhone? Was there any useful information after that, because I turned it off. Don't really need to hear a mac fanboy whining about the his religion's restrictions when I'm trying to evaluate the product he was supposed to be talking about. FF4 seems pretty good so far, it's a shame they can't seem to make a decent Android browser.

The guy was promoting his company's products. He said about 4 sentances on the iPhone in a spot where the two products overlapped, and went straight back to android.

Some people are so iOS sensitive.

My favorite add-on: Save to PDF -- combined with an HP ePrint printer, I can now print from my phone and Xoom. Very cool!

It won't stay your daily mobile browser for long since you can't watch videos in your own posts!! Flash support would make this about the best browser out there...

I attempted to use Firefox on my desktop and phone after 4 released but I switched back in about one day. You can't double tap to zoom to a section of text and have it reformat to fit on the screen. I simply couldn't live without that feature. And Chrome is simply better than Firefox. I do hope they maintain a strong core following though, Firefox is a great project.

No flash = no firefox.. and sync with chrome is nice on honeycomb and only getting better.. and i used to be a diehard firefox fan, but chrome speed and desktop sync options finally won me over..

I'm with most people on this and probably won't even download firefox to give it a try. I stopped using firefox on my desktop right when google chrome first came out and I don't ever plan on going back, even if it is revamped. The firefox I did download before was laggy and I saw a speed decrease so, Thanks, but No Thanks.

Firefox 4 is the best browser I've ever used, period. Firefox Mobile however is a really really sucky browser, which is unfortunate.

This broswer should be called Friedfish not On the other hand there's Dolphin HD which in my humble opinion is the best mobile browser. I also believe Opera mobile is pretty smooth too.

i'm a long time firefox user and i really like firefox 4 on the desktop. the android version... it's slow! it feels clunky and it's slow to load pages on wifi. (i'm using an htc thunerbolt)

The only thing that comes to mind when I think about Firefox mobile is "WHY". I go way back with Mozilla (Netscape Navigator --> Mozilla --> Firefox), its been my default browser of choice since 1995. I love Firefox on the desktop and I appreciate the fact that their main business is a web browser, not an OS, Office software, search engine, high end gadgets or advertising. To me that means they have to be good if the want to make it.

With that being said, I've used all the RC and some of the nightly builds of Firefox Mobile. This thing is crap, in comparison to what is already there. It has improved greatly but that's coming from awful so there would have to be improvements. Why would you try and put this thing on a mobile device, WHY! God love it but it's not like Firefox on the desktop was an efficient speed demon.

The only thing that can really give this browser a chance are phones with duel cores and lots of ram.

Was anyone else surprised by the fact that when he was on the sites he never zoomed in? I guess they are having trouble getting the text reflow / text wrap correct? That and flash are the only things holding me back from using this as my daily browser.

At last, AdBlock Plus is available for Firefox mobile. So glad to surf the net without seeing ads on my phone.