Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Firefox for Android to Get an Overhaul with Native UI

By - Source: Mozilla | B 11 comments

Mozilla's director of engineering Jonathan Nightingale has informed the Firefox community that future versions of Firefox for Android will get a native UI instead of the current XUL-based interface.

According to Nightingale, the native UI will allow Firefox to achieve better startup times, reduce memory consumption and become much more responsive. The mobile browser has been heavily criticized for its generous memory consumption and slow startup in the past.

Of course, this change will ring in another round of discussions that will center around add-on support. Nightingale said that the change to a native UI is still in its early days and there are talks with the Add-on SDK team how support extensions. While this could be another painful switch for developers, Mozilla stresses that its discussions are open and that it welcomes participation from the community.

There is no information when the new UI will be available. According to Nightingale, Firefox 8 and 9 will still ship with the XUL and tablet UI.

Discuss
Display all 11 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 4 Hide
    fancarolina , October 18, 2011 2:16 AM
    Shouldn't it have been written this way to begin with?
  • 1 Hide
    festerovic , October 18, 2011 2:18 AM
    hmm. I get great results with the android browser on droid 2. So far, Firefox on the droid is slower, and it just seems to be a port of the PC version instead of something that was designed to be used on a phone. Firefox, you will have to bring it to get ahead of the onboard android browser.
  • 0 Hide
    zanny , October 18, 2011 2:54 AM
    fancarolinaShouldn't it have been written this way to begin with?


    Its easier to port xul.os and have the massive overhead than rewrite the browser from scratch. Most of Firefox is written in C++, so it can cross compile alot of its dynamic libraries into Android. It will take a LOT of work to rewrite xul for minimum memory footprint, the file is about 25 megabytes on Windows. Its a lot of code, and it is the vast majority of Firefox's code base.
  • 1 Hide
    v1ze , October 18, 2011 4:01 AM
    no Firefox chick as the image? rage fail.
  • 2 Hide
    john15v16 , October 18, 2011 6:24 AM
    I downloaded the firefox browser App for my nexus s but was seriously disappointed in performance and its lack of flash support. I hear all of what folks say about HTML5 & flash and blah blah blah but honestly, the web sucks without it. Opera mobile on the other hand, got it right the first time. It is now my default browser of choice.
  • 0 Hide
    victorintelr , October 18, 2011 7:21 AM
    I'm currently using Firefox in my tablet (Thrive) as of today I prefer it, it opens the Tom's website (or iToms if you are worried about the # of iphones news) without crashing like Opera's browser with its last update (before the update I had no problems......)
  • -1 Hide
    nikorr , October 18, 2011 9:59 AM
    Great, what about iPad?
  • 1 Hide
    isamuelson , October 18, 2011 12:25 PM
    How about flash support?

    As it is, Dolphin HD is an excellent browser. It's fast, supports flash and it even has a smaller version that is even lighter for those with less powerful droids.

    Firefox is behind the eight-ball on this one.
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , October 18, 2011 2:42 PM
    Quote:
    I'm currently using Firefox in my tablet (Thrive) as of today I prefer it.


    My Thrive crashes on www.seekingalpha.com . Can't seem to get a browser that won't crash the tablet in that website, although my Samsung Galaxy s2 phone has no problems.

  • 0 Hide
    dstigue , October 18, 2011 2:46 PM
    isamuelsonHow about flash support?As it is, Dolphin HD is an excellent browser. It's fast, supports flash and it even has a smaller version that is even lighter for those with less powerful droids.Firefox is behind the eight-ball on this one.

    I absolutely agree with you isamuelson.. Dolphin HD is blowing away the competition right now. If you haven't tried it you should. I prefer the tabbed browsing style to the regular browser.
  • 0 Hide
    Abaddon , October 19, 2011 5:50 AM
    But will it support Android 2.1 now? I still can't install it on an Asus Garmin A50.