Firefox for Android

Late last year Mozilla announced that it'd be moving its Firefox browser to a native Android user interface, instead of using XUL, and it's been pushing nightly builds since November. Today, those builds have reached beta status and are available directly from Google Play. You'll get the same excellent Firefox browsing experience you've come to know and love, only with an even better UI, faster load times and better performance. And because it's now available in Google Play, updating will be easier than nightly builds. Hit the link below if you're ready to give it a shot.

Download: Firefox beta

 
There are 43 comments

callofduty4 says:

I can't justify the move away from chrome

rizzman says:

Yeah....I think Chrome is better optimized for Android. It is sick how quick load time are for it even in a weak signal area. LG nor more.

i tried firefox a while ago. it wasn't ready. maybe its time to try it again. I just haven't been 100% satisfied with any browser

arrigob says:

I feel the same way, exactly. I haven't tried Chrome yet though.

crxssi says:

I love that [non-native] Firefox on Android has full addon support- something that NO OTHER browser can touch, and very, very useful. And the UI is fine, too. It is just simply too slow to render pages.

Maybe this newer version will address those issues- I hope so.

DrLouie says:

currently it looks like a lot of the existing addons cannot be added to the beta. The beta is a lot faster than the release firefox.

butters619 says:

Looks like tabs will at least be better than stock on the One X.

icebike says:

What's wrong with the tabs on stock? Other than being buried on a menu?

Spaniard85 says:

...Probably that they're buried in the menu.

icebike says:

But slide finger down anywhere on screen and by the time you get to the bottom there's the button for it.

92turbo2 says:

i will stick with Dolphin Browser HD

mramgraham says:

Chrome is awesome

FlowingAway says:

Phil, it appears you have already built up quite the dust/gunk collection in the ear piece of that EVO 4G LTE.

pitaman64 says:

lol i. just noticed that

gtp20 says:

Am I wrong, or does this still not support flash?

Matt Brubeck says:

The new Firefox Beta does support Flash on Android phones. It's click-to-play by default, so it can't use any of your system resources except when you want it to. (You can change this in the preferences.)

The new beta UI is not yet ready for larger tablets. Tablets will still get the old version for now, without Flash support, until it's ready.

iPwn says:

They've really improved this over their older, much more sluggish browser. Definitely one of the faster mobile browsers I've used.

icebike says:

Seriously?

I find it still way slower than stock, and hopelessly slower than Chrome.

This in spite of the fact its half the size of Chrome.

VagrantRadio says:

Originally it was 14mb, now it's 15mb. No thanks, please try again.

Matt Brubeck says:

You know that Chrome for Android is 20MB and Opera Mobile is 14MB, right? The code for the stock webkit browser is about the same size too, but you don't see this because the libraries and other parts are installed to the system partition. Any browser that provides an alternative to the built-in browsing engine will be slightly hefty.

Firefox also uses some tricks so that it takes less space on disk after installation (compared to Chrome or Opera). The Chrome developers considered copying the technique:

https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/group/chromium-dev/browse_threa...

[Disclosure: I am a mobile Firefox developer.]

icebike says:

Chrome for Android weighs in on my phone 47.5 meg for the app alone, and it has another 23 meg of data.
(Total 71.4meg)

Firefox beta on Android is 16.66 meg for the app, 16 meg for data.
(Total 33.94meg)

Neither of these sets of figures includes cache.

Don't know where you get your figures from but these are read right off my
HOX.

Your point about FireFox being much smaller still stands. Its still not as fast.

Matt Brubeck says:

The numbers in my comment were the download sizes for each browser.

icebike says:

Ah.
Well that's not that germane, because the runtime size is what impacts phone performance.

Klotz says:

Dang, is that battery half-drained at 11:20 AM.

hmmm says:

Hopefully of day 2...

jeffrok says:

ANY phone will be half-drained by 11:20am if you wake up at 6 or 7am and use it quite a bit by 11am.

bkj216 says:

wow its much better than it used to be. Maybe I'll keep this one installed for a while.

metaldood says:

Chrome released a new version today. All my devices are synced in real time so it's hard to move away from Chrome.

rizzman says:

Really???? Today? Is it up and running in the play store?

cpolism says:

where did you see an update?

Matt Brubeck says:

Firefox also has sync built in (ever since Firefox 4 was released a year ago), though you have to install Firefox on each of the devices you want to sync... :)

crxssi says:

Not so hard to leave Chrome at all if you want no Google spying, and want Addons like Adblock...

hmmm says:

I still use dolphin. I like the gestures and it has support for an xmarks extension. I use Firefox on my desktop since it has the nice status bar at the bottom for forcastfox and the fact it actually blocks ads from loading rather than just hides them which I believe is what Chrome does.

philnolan3d says:

I love Dolphin too, but to be fair this Firefox does have the same ad-block extension that Firefox on the desktop has.

ajonesma says:

I can't leave chrome! It's just to good :)

chrgnthru says:

Doesn't seem to be available for the Galaxy Note :-(

Matt Brubeck says:

This will be fixed in the next beta release, in about a week: http://bugzil.la/752681

jeffrok says:

I appreciate you visiting and responding to posts here, Matt.

crxssi says:

I appreciate it too

chrgnthru says:

Thanks for the update.

philnolan3d says:

Still not Dolphin HD, but it is a nice step up. I'll stick with Dolphin for now and keep an eye on the other options.

Swavek says:

I installed the beta firefox and it runs so much better! on my galaxy nexus, it is just as fast as chrome. it supports flash and has add-ons which gives it a leg up compared to chrome. i'm really like it. if it continues to improve like this than it will become my main browser on my phone.

cadzilla74 says:

Nice for a beta. The addition of flash support has me just about ready to get away from Opera. Never cared for Dolphin. Can't use Chrome until the TBolt gets ICS finally.