File Under: Browsers, Mobile

Firefox for Android Goes Tablet-Native

Firefox for Android. Image: Scott Gilbertson/Webmonkey

The latest version of Mozilla’s Firefox browser for Android devices is now available in the Google Play Store.

This release continues Mozilla’s move away from the unified Firefox look to one that uses native Android interface elements.

The new native interface for Android tablets means faster start-up times and a much speedier Awesome Bar for searching, but it also means the browser is a bit more Android-y and a bit less Firefox-y. For most Firefox fans that’s probably just fine; the significant speed boost more than makes up for the fact that the mobile version looks a bit different than desktop Firefox.

The latest Firefox for Android packs in some other welcome new features as well, including the ability to import bookmarks and browsing history from Android’s stock web browser, a new setting to clear specific types of private data and a much-needed new “find in page” search tool.

This release also includes much of the new web standards support found in Firefox for Android’s desktop cousin, also released today, which means that CSS word-break and other new features will work on mobile devices as well.

For a complete list of new features in Firefox for Android, be sure to check out the full release notes. And while Firefox for Android has been pretty stable in my testing, there are still some known issues, including one bug that occasionally causes the screen to go wonky (“yield unexpected behavior,” in Mozilla’s words) when changing from portrait to landscape and vice versa.