Firefox for Android to Get an Overhaul with Native UI

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.

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  • fancarolina
    Shouldn't it have been written this way to begin with?
  • festerovic
    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.
  • zanny
    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.