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New Firefox Beta for Android with Flash support (mozilla.org)
37 points by mbrubeck 1242 days ago | 15 comments

Personally, I'd go with a headline more like "New Firefox Beta for Android is way, way faster!"

The Firefox Android team put a huge amount of effort into redoing the UI to make things far faster. Support for Flash is fine for some (and much requested), but not the marquee feature in my mind.

(I work for Mozilla, but not on Firefox for Android)


It's crazy how much faster Foxfox on Android is than Chrome or the built-in browser, it's my new default on my tablet(Touchpad on ICS) and phone(Nexus S).

The Tablet version seems to have greater support for addons, it's great to have Lastpass with me.


Is this your experience for the latest Firefox beta, or has this been something you've observed for the past few releases?

I've got an old Droid 2 and won't be replacing it until this fall. I try to run Firefox Beta, but it always takes on the order of ~20 seconds to start. It's quite frustrating! I much prefer the Firefox experience to the built-in browser with the exceptions of font rendering, poor hardware keyboard support [1], and the long start up time.

Edit: I just downloaded the update, and it's incredibly good. The startup time is almost instantaneous and the fonts finally look comparable to the Android browser. I'm quite impressed! I haven't tried using the hardware keyboard yet, but these two fixes alone represent a significant upgrade to the Firefox Beta experience. The new start page looks slick, too.

So I guess I've just replaced my default browser.

Edit 2: This is _really_ good. You have to give it a try, especially on older hardware.

[1]: Left/right keys don't work right, editing is buggy and places the cursor in improper places, modal keys get 'stuck', etc. I think it's a regression; at one point this wasn't a problem. I wish I had a bugzilla link, but I don't have the time to find/make a report.


The first betas where really slow but the new beta is a whole different story.

I too have issues editing, I'm hoping that'll be resolved soon but even with those bugs it has been a better overall experience than the Chrome or the stock browser for me.


For the Nexus S I really don't see any browser except Opera Mobile as real alternatives, it is just that much faster than anything else.

The new Firefox beta seemed to be quicker than older versions but crashed within a minute of browsing on a semi-heavy page, it is just too unstable and its memory footprint is way too large for a phone like the Nexus S.


Thanks for the advice, I'll give Opera Mobile a try.


Please don't. As a current Flash/HTML5 developer - just let it die. I don't say that with hate towards the platform - so I'm not pandering to that crowd. Honestly, the pro-Adobe, anti-Adobe crowds are both nuts and introspective to a fault.

I just want one platform that we can all count on. Flash had its day. Let's not fight about who killed it, or how amazingly insightful Steve Jobs is for lighting the first match. Let's all just collectively get over it and utilize the platform that works everywhere (even TVs). Think about how much better developers we can all be if we can concentrate our efforts into a technology that is widely supported & scales well.


I just downloaded the latest beta and I'm really quite impressed. Everything seems way faster (or at least more responsive), scrolling is far smoother than it ever was before, and the new UI seems great so far.

Some changes I noticed just now while browsing HN:

- Double tapping now seems to cycle through 3 zoom levels

- Article/body text is automatically recognized and set to a readable size

- Comment links are much harder to hit, my taps seem to always hit the article links unless I pinch-to-zoom in very close


If I'm not mistaken, Adobe plan to abandon flash for mobile device. Isn't it better if Firefox developer focus on things other than flash?


Yes. Unfortunately the lack of Flash support is the nr.1 or nr.2 reason why users won't use it on Android. It causes a huge rejection rate.

The other reason was startup speed, which got fixed.


Ugh. As an Android owner that hates watching his browser shit itself due to a buggy Flash embed - I must say, Steve Jobs was right. Flash has no place on a mobile device.


Flash is click-to-play by default in Firefox for Android, using the same code that is now an option in Firefox Nightly on desktop [1]. Flash actually performs quite well on Android 4.0, but it can definitely cause problems on all earlier versions.

[1] https://msujaws.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/opting-in-to-plugin...


Given the touch interface (and observing my father's shaky hands when using one), I think "click to play" needs to be more than just "click", on such platforms. (If I'm understanding how it works currently on same.)

I'd be tempted to use additional extension(s) to ensure no false Flash triggering, if/when I start using this environment -- if I leave Flash active, at all.


Note that Firefox for Android has the same level of HTML5 support as the desktop version, so there's no excuse to use Flash indeed.

...but for "legacy" sites with Flash, this new version will help you out.


Finally.. Firefox on Android is fast!

The older version is really painfully slow..

Slow enough to switch to other browsers like Opera Mobile or Dolphin..

Back to Firefox..

Anyway using the Samsung Galaxy S i9000


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