Oct 19 AT 11:50 AM Taylor Wimberly 31 Comments

Mozilla Firefox coming to Android

We had a feeling this was coming. Mozilla has finally confirmed they are bringing the popular web browser to the Android mobile platform. Om Malik had an interview with Mozilla CEO John Lilly and VP Jay Sullivan who shared their thoughts on Android.

“Until recently, Android was Java, but they released Android NDK which uses C/C++ and that is what we program in, so we are now looking at developing Firefox for Android,” said Jay Sullivan, vice president of Mobile for Mozilla.

Mr. Lilly explained the reason why we have had to wait so long.

“Sure, we are behind, but we didn’t want to do a browser that didn’t do the whole web,” Lilly said. “We wanted to build a browser that did everything – Javascript, CSS, Flash, SVG, video and audio. What that meant was we had to wait for a while for devices to get better to handle this modern browser.”

Another new feature was unveiled by Mr. Sullivan.

“Mozilla Firefox will be the first mobile browser to support add-ons,” boasted Sullivan

There is no release schedule for Firefox on Android, but a version has been spotted on the new Acer netbook. I pre-ordered the Android netbook and it arrives tomorrow. I’m interested to see exactly what version of Firefox is included with the device. My guess is Acer did their own port of the Linux version of Firefox.

How awesome is browser wars on a mobile platform? We already have the default Android browser and now Opera Mobile and Firefox are headed our way.

[via GigaOm]

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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  • Till

    Really exciting. The NDK should open up a lot of new possibilities and make Android more like vanilla Linux.

  • http://twitter.com/cheeseking cheeseking

    competition = a better product. I wonder what ever happened to that mobile version of firefox, it was called felic, or felix, or ferox. Something like that, anyone know what I’m talking about?

    anyways I wonder if its based around that or a brand new browser.

    • adil

      i think it was/is called fennec, and it’s still indevelopment afaik

      • http://twitter.com/cheeseking cheeseking

        ahhhh fennec :) thanks couldn’t remember the name.

  • http://matpreece.blogspot.com/ RamShackle

    Woo Hoo,

    So Mozilla thought Android would flop but now realise its potential?

    • ear0wax

      No, Android is Java Based, Firefox isnt, the android NDK adds C code support to android, thus allowing Mozilla to write firefox for android, says it all up there.

  • Hendrik

    We also have “Dolphin Browser”, which is quite nice. Not to say: the best current browser for Android. Especially when you like to share Links on twitter or facebook.

  • Ron Amadeo

    Cool. Now all we need is a phone with the 700 or so MB of memory Firefox uses to display a web page. That 10 second startup on a phone will be pretty irritating though.

  • Bob

    Don’t forget Steel, it’s a good browser.

    • Rocco

      Steel is a good browser, but the developer hasn’t made any updates in a while. It might be an abandoned project.

  • Milind Rao

    I love Firefox on the desktop. But Fennec is simply awful! I have it on my Nokia N810 and the browser just lets down the whole internet tablet experience. The original browser is a Mozilla browser, but not Fennec. I haven’t tried Fennec for a few months now, but the last time it crashed, was slow, had poor rendering, froze. It was in beta, but still – most unimpressive.

    The default webkit based Android browser is much better. It renders much better, reflows to prevent horizontal scrolling, doesn’t have those annoying tiles that iPhone does when scrolling around. It still needs a lot of improvement – better windowing, background tab loading, faster loading, multi -touch etc. But even with it’s drawbacks, it’s so better than Fennec on Maemo.

    • Hero

      Multi-Touch and background tab loading are already here (at least on my Hero)

  • chuksy

    The clincher for me is having add on.I cant wait for it to surface.

  • SliestDragon

    I like Loccy’s betterbrowser that comes with Cyanogen’s roms. The multi touch isn’t perfect, but it does work really well.

  • carig

    i’m just glad because the android platform is becoming more open and easy to develop for, i was disappointed when i found out there wouldn’t be firefox for android just because it was (at least partly) android’s fault

    as for the browser itself firefox is a good browser but it’s kindof heavy, and it doesn’t help that i got out of control with extensions on mine, i use chrome now and i can’t help thinking mobile firefox just won’t be as zippy as the default browser, just as chrome is zippy compared to firefox

  • jambamkin

    Fennec betas are available and the newest release features the ability for add-ons. It’s only available for maemo on the n800 and n810, so no multitouch. But I think it is ideally suited to Android and will be excited to see if It brings Opera’s mobile browser for Android out of hiding.

  • JustAPhoneUser

    Wow extensions and good old Firefox performance! Thank Google for c c++ Extensions!

    I can not wait…

  • Some Dude

    This is really great! Firefox is really the best browser in the market. This is very exciting news, and will really set android apart!

    Cheers to Mozilla foundation!

  • Christopher Silva

    I have always liked Firefox and am sure Mozilla will put out a quality product for our droids.

    Good news indeed.

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  • http://www.cogspace.com Katie

    Alright! It’s about time! I’ve been drooling ober Fennec since the first alpha, heh.

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  • http://www.androiddestek.com SaNSaRaLv0

    It’s big news for android!
    when flash upcoming android?

  • http://www.android-tr.com gokberk

    When is this come my phone?

  • http://Website doddsie

    Why oh why isnt there a HTC desire Mozila. ;(

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