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

 

Reader comments

Firefox's new native Android version now available in beta from Google Play

43 Comments

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.]

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.

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.

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

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... :)

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.