Mozilla announces Firefox for Android

Mozilla today announced availability of its much anticipated Firefox open source browser for Android, effectively giving its key financial backer, Google, a run for its money on the mobile browser front.
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

Mozilla jumped on the Google I/O bandwagon by announcing availability of its much anticipated Firefox browser for Android.

The non-profit open source foundation claims the new mobile browser is speedier than the native Android browser on Google's smartphone/tablet code and offers a host of performance, security and usability improvements, including a new Awesome Screen interface and support for Flash for videos and game playing.

The Awesome Screen is enabled by Firefox Sync and brings bookmarks, history and settings to Android devices. Mozilla also optimized the tabbed browsing, Sync and add-ons functionality for mobile browsing and integrated in new HTML 5 capabilities and key security features of its desktop offering such as Do Not Track, Master Password and HTTP Strict Transport Security.

It will be interesting to watch uptake of Firefox, which had been the only top open source browser until Google's Chrome started making serious headway on the desktop and on mobile devices.

Google's recent infusion of more cash into Mozilla and Mozilla's own re-energized Firefox design efforts seem to ensure that the open source browser will remain alive and well for some time to come, regardless of how well Google's own Chrome browser adoption accelerates on Android devices.

"The new Firefox for Android gives people a powerful mobile Web with faster start-up time, a new look and feel, Flash support and Firefox Sync to give you access to Awesome Bar history, saved passwords, bookmarks and open tabs across your computers and Android phone," Mozilla announced Tuesday. "Firefox for Android is super speedy and highly customizable, and touts industry-leading privacy and security features."

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