Nov 04 AT 3:04 PM Taylor Wimberly 25 Comments

Firefox 4 Beta for Android now available, faster and sleeker

Today Mozilla announced the new Firefox 4 Beta for mobile devices which is now available to download for Android. Based on our site analytics, Google’s Chrome browser is the top choice for our readers, but Firefox comes in at a close 2nd so I’m sure many will want to check this out.

The latest Firefox 4 Beta for mobile includes a 60% install size reduction on Android (from around 43 MB to 17 MB), reduces memory usage, and improves text rendering. Mozilla has also made quite a few UI improvements, which has undergone an overhaul to include an Android-inspired theme.

Things will continue to improve as the Mozilla team nears the final release. Currently they are working to add hardware acceleration to make scrolling and zooming even faster and will enable HTML5 video to “bring a more rich browsing experience to your phone”.

Mozilla is also encouraging developers to begin building add-ons for Firefox 4 Beta for mobile. If you want to get involved with the beta release visit the official project page.

This update of Firefox 4 Beta for mobile is smaller, sleeker and faster with:

  • a 60% smaller install size
  • a new theme with a fresh look and new features for tabbed browsing and link sharing
  • optimizations that make it around 25% faster on the SunSpider Javascript benchmark than the stock browser on Android 2.2

Source: The Mozilla Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website joe

    first

  • shadowxof

    I’ve ben told that the stock browser is fastest but I guess its worth the try

  • http://Website Batfan

    Seems a little better but, uninstalling for now.

    Still really slow. Loaded Google with no problems but, when I tried to load a mobile site, it rebooted my phone.

  • Alan Reboli

    Not available for the G1, doesn’t meet minimum requirements

  • http://Website just tried it

    Lags like hell on my x10 2.1

    • http://Website thegreattaurus

      It crashed in a way ive never seen an app crash on any android phone before
      X10 on 2.1

  • http://Website mcdisease

    I like that it can be moved to the SD card.

  • http://Website N1_user

    it kept crashing on my N1 running a HTC Desire port (eViL’s NXSense 1.24). too bad, I would like to try out. I’m glad the footprint is smaller.

  • http://Website Tito!

    You never did mention minimum system requirements.

    Off topic, it took forever to install.
    Rebooted my phone on the first try haha.
    Either way, I’m excited to test it out (;

  • http://Website Ban

    Thanks androidandme, i have to say sometimes i often find the most interesting android news on your site, especially when it comes to cpu/gpu news.

  • http://Website Ryan Kim

    HTC Aria running CM6 doesn’t meet the requirements either.

  • http://Website gy

    A little disappointing to say the least…

    I’ve been using FireFox since day 1 on computers, but it’s way behind on Android: slow, renders ugly, doesn’t shrink content properly. Tested on Desire.

  • http://plankhead.com Zacqary Adam Green

    It’s much better than it used to be, but still not fast enough to be useful. Also, it seems to break the Android keyboard’s auto-correct.

  • mattcoz

    Tried an ARMv6 nightly a couple days ago on my Hero, kept locking up the phone. :(

  • http://Website Hans

    Seems disappointing to say the least. At least it’s still in beta.

  • http://Website vasra

    Very, very buggy.

    Can crash it in less than 3 mins always.

    Not worth your time yet, imho.

  • http://Website Jason

    This has been out for months now. Not to mention it’s a huge file size, buggy and not worth your time.

  • http://127.0.0.1 grellanl

    This new version is a fantastic leap forward, but it really needs a device with lots of fast internal flash storage. It’s great on the Nexus One if you have lots of space free, but that’s almost impossible to do on that device.

    On a device with better storage specs though, it flies, and it’s already a really usable browser. Thankfully those devices are (finally) starting yo appear.

  • http://Website watbetch

    Doesn’t crash my T-Mobile Vibrant

    • http://Website lazycoder9000

      I have a Samsung Vibrant and it runs perfectly. I’m using an (very) optimized kernel, Voodoo lagfix (ext4 filesystem), and Bionix Fusion latest build. No overclocking. I guess this shows that the Galaxy S truly is the best phone out there ATM. Maybe the G2 and DroidX are as capable too.

      • http://Website watbetch

        I’m running stock rooted JI6(not laggy). It’s a bit slow rendering pages. I even gave it a spot on my homescreen so I can test it but yeah, I have no problems with this app on my Galaxy S.

  • http://Website Classic

    The built in browser is fast, and stable. No need for Firefox…

  • http://Website the_alien

    Rebooted the N1 on first install.
    I like the feature were you move the website to the left or right and it shows your tabs or controls. But it doesn’t change the textflow if you zoom in or out, making it nearly impossible to read desktop websites that look really nice on the stock browser.

    The page rendering is slow too.

    Sticking with the stock browser for now.

  • http://Website Primum Agmen

    Well, the sync feature doesn’t seem to work quite right yet (it does, however, function natively without a plug-in. Took a bit to work out, but I’ve got it to import my tabs, history and bookmarks. You have to manually put in the ‘-’ in the sync key, as it won’t work otherwise.), and Adblock isn’t available for 4.02b, so the two main draws to Firefox seem to be absent. It doesn’t as yet load mobile sites properly (it doesn’t properly display the Guardian’s, and doesn’t trigger the BBC, NYTimes or Android And Me mobile sites for some reason.), though New Scientist works just fine in it. Start up times are a bit slow (it shows a “Firefox is loading” sign when you first start it up, for instance), but once it’s going speeds seem to generally be comparable to the stock browser, though to me it seems to load graphics faster than the stock browser does. It, as yet, seems to lack Flash player 10.1 support, and Adobe picks up my HTC Desire as an Apple product when Youtube redirects me to their website to download it. So, I think it’s safe to say the browser as yet lacks Flash 10.1.

    On the bright side, the way it displays drop down menus is nicer than the stock browser, and I’m a bigger fan of the interface – right for menus, left for tabs, menu gives info on the site, allows you to search within the page, save it for later and what not, and search directs you to the “Awesome” screen. It’s not too bad, in all fairness.

    A slight issue for me that I’ll note is that it doesn’t seem to be able to navigate Microsoft’s sign in procedures whatsoever. So, any site which uses the WLID system seems to be inaccessible in the current build of Firefox for mobile.

    Still, it’s workable on my HTC Desire running 2.2, but I’ll definitely be sticking with the stock browser until the final release comes out.

  • http://Website ray

    I have synced with my home desktop firefox, but bookmarks do not show up on mobile phone. What is the point then?
    Also, this newest mobile firefox browser is SUPER slow and will not let you get back to home, forcing you to turn off phone, most times having to take out battery to re boot. Seems that mozilla has some work to do.

  1. joeGuest 5 years ago

    first

  2. I’ve ben told that the stock browser is fastest but I guess its worth the try

  3. BatfanGuest 5 years ago

    Seems a little better but, uninstalling for now.

    Still really slow. Loaded Google with no problems but, when I tried to load a mobile site, it rebooted my phone.

  4. Not available for the G1, doesn’t meet minimum requirements

  5. just tried itGuest 5 years ago

    Lags like hell on my x10 2.1

    • thegreattaurusGuest 5 years ago

      It crashed in a way ive never seen an app crash on any android phone before
      X10 on 2.1

  6. mcdiseaseGuest 5 years ago

    I like that it can be moved to the SD card.

  7. N1_userGuest 5 years ago

    it kept crashing on my N1 running a HTC Desire port (eViL’s NXSense 1.24). too bad, I would like to try out. I’m glad the footprint is smaller.

  8. Tito!Guest 5 years ago

    You never did mention minimum system requirements.

    Off topic, it took forever to install.
    Rebooted my phone on the first try haha.
    Either way, I’m excited to test it out (;

  9. BanGuest 5 years ago

    Thanks androidandme, i have to say sometimes i often find the most interesting android news on your site, especially when it comes to cpu/gpu news.

  10. Ryan KimGuest 5 years ago

    HTC Aria running CM6 doesn’t meet the requirements either.

  11. gyGuest 5 years ago

    A little disappointing to say the least…

    I’ve been using FireFox since day 1 on computers, but it’s way behind on Android: slow, renders ugly, doesn’t shrink content properly. Tested on Desire.

  12. It’s much better than it used to be, but still not fast enough to be useful. Also, it seems to break the Android keyboard’s auto-correct.

  13. Tried an ARMv6 nightly a couple days ago on my Hero, kept locking up the phone. :(

  14. HansGuest 5 years ago

    Seems disappointing to say the least. At least it’s still in beta.

  15. vasraGuest 5 years ago

    Very, very buggy.

    Can crash it in less than 3 mins always.

    Not worth your time yet, imho.

  16. JasonGuest 5 years ago

    This has been out for months now. Not to mention it’s a huge file size, buggy and not worth your time.

  17. grellanlGuest 5 years ago

    This new version is a fantastic leap forward, but it really needs a device with lots of fast internal flash storage. It’s great on the Nexus One if you have lots of space free, but that’s almost impossible to do on that device.

    On a device with better storage specs though, it flies, and it’s already a really usable browser. Thankfully those devices are (finally) starting yo appear.

  18. watbetchGuest 5 years ago

    Doesn’t crash my T-Mobile Vibrant

    • lazycoder9000Guest 5 years ago

      I have a Samsung Vibrant and it runs perfectly. I’m using an (very) optimized kernel, Voodoo lagfix (ext4 filesystem), and Bionix Fusion latest build. No overclocking. I guess this shows that the Galaxy S truly is the best phone out there ATM. Maybe the G2 and DroidX are as capable too.

      • watbetchGuest 5 years ago

        I’m running stock rooted JI6(not laggy). It’s a bit slow rendering pages. I even gave it a spot on my homescreen so I can test it but yeah, I have no problems with this app on my Galaxy S.

  19. ClassicGuest 5 years ago

    The built in browser is fast, and stable. No need for Firefox…

  20. the_alienGuest 5 years ago

    Rebooted the N1 on first install.
    I like the feature were you move the website to the left or right and it shows your tabs or controls. But it doesn’t change the textflow if you zoom in or out, making it nearly impossible to read desktop websites that look really nice on the stock browser.

    The page rendering is slow too.

    Sticking with the stock browser for now.

  21. Primum AgmenGuest 5 years ago

    Well, the sync feature doesn’t seem to work quite right yet (it does, however, function natively without a plug-in. Took a bit to work out, but I’ve got it to import my tabs, history and bookmarks. You have to manually put in the ‘-’ in the sync key, as it won’t work otherwise.), and Adblock isn’t available for 4.02b, so the two main draws to Firefox seem to be absent. It doesn’t as yet load mobile sites properly (it doesn’t properly display the Guardian’s, and doesn’t trigger the BBC, NYTimes or Android And Me mobile sites for some reason.), though New Scientist works just fine in it. Start up times are a bit slow (it shows a “Firefox is loading” sign when you first start it up, for instance), but once it’s going speeds seem to generally be comparable to the stock browser, though to me it seems to load graphics faster than the stock browser does. It, as yet, seems to lack Flash player 10.1 support, and Adobe picks up my HTC Desire as an Apple product when Youtube redirects me to their website to download it. So, I think it’s safe to say the browser as yet lacks Flash 10.1.

    On the bright side, the way it displays drop down menus is nicer than the stock browser, and I’m a bigger fan of the interface – right for menus, left for tabs, menu gives info on the site, allows you to search within the page, save it for later and what not, and search directs you to the “Awesome” screen. It’s not too bad, in all fairness.

    A slight issue for me that I’ll note is that it doesn’t seem to be able to navigate Microsoft’s sign in procedures whatsoever. So, any site which uses the WLID system seems to be inaccessible in the current build of Firefox for mobile.

    Still, it’s workable on my HTC Desire running 2.2, but I’ll definitely be sticking with the stock browser until the final release comes out.

  22. rayGuest 4 years ago

    I have synced with my home desktop firefox, but bookmarks do not show up on mobile phone. What is the point then?
    Also, this newest mobile firefox browser is SUPER slow and will not let you get back to home, forcing you to turn off phone, most times having to take out battery to re boot. Seems that mozilla has some work to do.