We have to hand it to Mozilla: its mobile team has recently been hauling out tweaks and updates to its mobile Firefox browser for Android and (two) Nokia Maemo devices.
Mozilla unveiled the hotly anticipated Firefox for Android app (called Firefox 4 beta) early last month. It was a good first effort, but we balked at the beta software's huge installer, slower performance, and scrolling inefficiencies. We weren't the only ones, and Mozilla has gone to lengths to redesign its app in this second attempt.
Android-like interface Although we'll get around to the back-end changes, what really stands out is the app's visual overhaul on its default start screen. The design has remained static for so long, since its early days as the Fennec alpha for Nokia's Maemo platform in fact, that we can't help but blink.
The app, as viewed on a Droid Incredible Android phone, still retains the "Awesomebar" up top, but now opens with an all-new start page that carries a similar look and feel as other Firefox pages online. There's space to show previously visited tabs, promoted add-ons, and tabs from your other computers, assuming you use Firefox Sync. The start screen will henceforth be your first browser tab by default, though you can change this in the settings.
You'll also notice that pages are now organized differently to provide combined or separate access to your bookmarks, browsing history, and synced computer tabs. Mozilla has also added favicons, small icons that can help you visually identify a URL by a thumbnail representation of its site logo. The multiple search engines (like Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, and Twitter) have moved from the bottom of the interface into the search bar; you'll be able to switch among them after you start typing a query.
In addition to all we've mentioned above, the Firefox mobile team has polished up the design to make it better fit in with the Android look and feel. That means reshaped toolbar buttons, bubbly pop-ups, and reworked context menus.… Read more