back to article Mozilla lands fresh Firefox 4 beta on Android, Maemo

Mozilla has released a new Firefox 4 beta for Android and Maemo, hot on the heels of its latest desktop beta. The new mobile beta adds copy and paste tools to the browser's URL bar. It lets you save websites as PDFs for offline viewing. And it fixes some keyboard issues that plagued the previous beta. Mozilla says it has also …


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  1. SilverWave

    Man this is more like it! But you need Easy Reading for Wrap text on zoom.

    Text is clear and sharp.

    Once FF is started pages now load fast!

    Copy & Paste work great.

    Easy Reading makes Firefox a possibility for using as your default browser.

    Only major outstanding issue is the lack of Master Password feature.

    Sync is the killer app.

    Also recommend Readability.


    running a HTC Desire. Andriod 2.2 (2.29.405.2)

    Good write up from the horse mouth here:

    1. Joe 19
      Thumb Up


      It's faster than Firefox on my PC. Which I should look at upgrading (the PC) anyway :/

      Zoom in can be a little tempermental at times, when trying to hit links with large sausage like fingers.

      Also on the Desire, also recommend Readability.

    2. SilverWave

      Sync and Security: A big problem.

      Any one interested in Sync and Security may wish to watch this bug:

      Bug 592772 - Fennec should offer to use master password

      This comment sums things up nicely:

      Quote: Michael Coates 2010-11-10 14:05:18 PST

      I'd like to reopen the discussion on this issue. I understand we may not be

      willing to block fennec for the master password. However, I think we do need to

      carefully make a few design decisions in the interest of security.

      Current Sync Deployment:

      1. Any sync'ed passwords (from desktops/other devices) will be sync'ed to the


      2. Passwords on the mobile are stored in clear text

      3. A phone without builtin encryption (e.g. most of them) provides zero defense

      from an attacker inspecting and removing the passwords (either via running

      script or forensic inspection)

      4. Mobile phones are much more likely to be lost or stolen then laptop/desktop

      computers which increases the risk of unencrypted stored passwords.

      Possible Solutions

      1. Master password (as discussed)

      2. Default to not sync passwords to mobile devices at all

      3. Idea #2 by default plus user option to enable password sync with a huge

      warning message on the risk they're about to accept

      We need to adopt some sort of solution to mitigate this risk before we launch

      fennec with sync. Otherwise our users will be caught of guard by the large

      security risk they've unknowingly assumed.I also fear we will receive

      significant backlash from media/security/privacy groups. Mobile banking apps

      are already receiving bad press for poor security practices on mobile devices

      and hackers are definitely targeting mobile devices.

  2. Greg J Preece
    Thumb Up

    Better, but still some way to go

    Firefox on my Xperia is now actually quick enough that I might quit using the built-in browser altogether. Having my awesome bar/tabs/history/bookmarks/everything-ever synchronised straight to the device and back again is just too cool.

    (Opera fanbois, shut your pie holes. I use Firefox on the desktop, and the awesome bar wins at everything, ever, forever. Get over it.)

    Firefox on Maemo is still slow as shit, but not quite as slow as shit as it was before. The previous version was so slow it was untestable, but this one actually functions, just not nearly as quickly as MicroB. It's also sometimes leaving defunct processes behind when it exits, so I can't use it twice in a row without dropping to bash and nuking those, which is an ass. I'll get that reported as a bug.

    Speed really is the major issue with these mobile versions. Hopefully the final version will be fully up to speed, because the browser's actual functionality looks to be excellent.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You know the "Awesome Bar" was an Opera invention and predated Firefox's awesome bar by several years... Nice to see you catching up.

      Perhaps one day Firefox might have tab stacking too.

      As for Mobile. Firefox mobile is a joke. Double the memory footprint of Opera Mobile, 10x the footprint of Opera Mini, and half the features too.

      Some people make me laugh, they believe all the Mozilla/Google/Microsoft/Apple propaganda they read and don't even think for a moment they are being manipulated.

      1. SilverWave
        Thumb Down

        Yeah but I dont trust Opera

        Have you read the EULA? And its proprietary.... so no.

        1. Rafael L

          Open-source guys are somewhat stupid...

          Chromium is the open-source project behind Chrome - a partial closed-source browser. Anyway, even if it's completely open-source like Firefox you can only get the code of Minefield. There's aways a gap between the open-source project and the compiled final product where anything can happens.

      2. Greg J Preece

        I got a bite!

        Let's reel it in!

        "You know the "Awesome Bar" was an Opera invention and predated Firefox's awesome bar by several years... Nice to see you catching up."

        You should know before you dig yourself a bigger hole, I have Opera installed alongside Firefox on both my desktop and mobile. (I'm a developer - I have *every* major browser installed, plus a few others.) I've never said that Opera is a bad browser - it's actually rather excellent. But if the address bar in Opera is supposed to work like the one in Firefox, I've got some bad news for you mate - it doesn't. It just doesn't. The bar in Firefox is the most intuitive of all of them, hands down.

        As for your retarded "I haven't tried Opera" rant, having a larger footprint than Opera Mini isn't difficult, seen as it doesn't actually render anything... Oh, and Opera only rushed tab stacking into Opera 11 because they knew Mozilla were mucking around with it.

        I'm sorry it upsets you that I prefer Firefox, but I do. And over-zealous fanboys like you are one reason I don't go near the Opera community. You just listed every other major browser maker as just dealing out "propaganda" - of course! There's no other possible reason anyone would use them, right? Sounds like if anyone's drunk the Kool Aid, it's you.

        Calm the fuck down - so long as you're not using IE, you're fine with me.

  3. SilverWave

    Doesn't run iPlayer or Recognise that flash is installed

    Hmm odd the default webkit does...

    1. SilverWave

      Known Issues - coming RSN :-s

      Known Issues:

      "Adobe Flash and other plugins are not supported. Currently, enabling the Flash plugin results in a compromised user experience across Firefox for mobile."


      81 people have this problem 32 new this week

  4. Neil 7
    Thumb Down

    Firefox on Maemo

    Picked up the nightly Firefox 4 beta 4 the other night and It really is slow as molasses.

    Slower than Opera 10.6 (naturally) but also much, much slower than the built-in MicroB which is based on Mozilla. In general I prefer Opera to MicroB but the latter does at least support Flash. Firefox doesn't support Flash either and combined with it's chronic performance means it's a total non-starter.

    Firefox 4 on Maemo needs to improve page load times by an order of magnitude at least if it has any expectations of being competitive on this platform. As it stands it won't last more than 2 minutes before being uninstalled from most Maemo devices. It's also uses sh1t loads of CPU when it's apparently doing nothing, which is worrying. And too much memory.

    Christ, those Mozilla boys have got their work cut out.

  5. Neil 7

    Firefox Sync has been broken in 3.6 (desktop) for weeks now

    Just says "Error While Syncing" and tells me to update to the latest version of Sync even though I am on the latest version 1.5.1.

    Bit of an embarrassing fark up, really. And nobody at Mozilla seems to give a shit.

    Plenty of unhappy former users here - I say former, 'cos it don't work anymore:

    1. SilverWave

      Latest Update: Firefox Sync 1.6 (December 22, 2010)

      You can get it here:

      Recent changes

      * (1.6) Accept old-style 20 character Sync Keys in dashed form

      * (1.6b5) Backward-compatibility fix for old Sync Keys

      * (1.6b4) Fix reliability issues in crypto procedures and key caching

      * (1.6b3) Better error handling and recovery for various key errors

      * (1.6b3) Fix HKDF implementation in crypto

      * (1.6b2) Performance and correctness fixes

      * (1.6b1) Employ a simpler crypto infrastructure. This provides a newer storage format and requires that all computers connected to the account are upgraded to this verfsion of Firefox Sync or higher.

      * (1.6b1) Several performance improvements.

      * (1.6b1) Improved preference sync.

      Works fine in 3.6 but still not showing "Add Device", which does show in FF4.0b9pre

      Firefox Mobile Beta3 Sync worked like a dream - All you do is connect and you are presented with a code to input on your desktop PC browser. That's it all done



      Details here:

      "The latest FF4b8pre updates your back end sync data (held on Mozilla servers).

      The problem is that any FF3.6 machines still on 1.5.1 cant read the new format yet.

      So you wont be able to sync with your FF3.6 machines until they release an update."

      1. Neil 7

        @Latest Update: Firefox Sync 1.6 (December 22, 2010)

        Thanks, installed that snapshot version.

        Now I get an error telling me that my Sync key is incorrect - at least that's an improvement on the generic "error while syncing"! Sure enough my Sync key is no longer what it should be, and since I haven't changed it I can only assume it's become corrupted or changed due to a bug of some kind. What I find strange is that I have never installed or used Firefox 4b8pre, and my install of Firefox Sync 1.5.1 on FF3.6 stopped working 2-3 weeks ago, possibly longer.

        Regenerating a new Sync key seems to have solved the issue, at least on my current desktop. Now I have to re-enter the key into the other machines I use...

        Many thanks.

        1. SilverWave

          Wrong Sync Key error

          This should do it;


          "Well the install worked but then I received: Wrong Sync Key error... OK WTF!

          The key here is not to panic looking at my working FF4.0b8 I knew I had a key just how to find it!

          What's happened is that they have changed your sync key without telling you!

          Oh bad Mozilla, bad Mozilla, no biscuit for you!"

          But its all in a good cause :-) Security and better features when you look in to it further...

          Sync will use J-PAKE to securely transfer credentials to new clients.


          1. Greg J Preece

            Snapshot version?

            Sync 1.6 became available in Firefox 3.6 for me last night - clicking on "failed to sync" prompted me to install the new version. Strange that you should have to go to that length.

  6. Ron1

    FAIL - Still no iFrame scrolling

    Several years, Android 2.x, Firefox 4.x and still

    No in frame scrolling possible!

    Even Google's own pages use iFrames that need to be scrolled, but you can not do that on (Google) Android device (you can on iPhone using two fingers)...

    This is a defect known for a long time (2 years or so) and nobody fixed it yet - why is beyond me.

    They keep on adding (mostly useless) bells & whistles, but can not solve a simple issue of scrolling through embedded frames.

    All Android browsers (including Opera) to my knowledge fail on this one and Firefox 4.x is no exception...

    1. Neil 7

      @FAIL - Still no iFrame scrolling

      You probably want to keep an eye on this bug:

  7. illiad

    Um, FF is BETA, i.e., it is NOT fully working..

    If you use a ton of extensions to make it easier/ safer/ quicker to use, you may find 70% of those are just rejected by the install!! - also if you are trying to install FF alongside your *reliable* FF 3.6 install, it mangles many of your old customizations too!

    Hope they solve this soon with the final..

    Being an opera fan myself, I am pissed that what they call a final does NOT have their extensions 'fully working'.. Sure, you can load and check them, but many have not found any way to access them!! (go check their forums - the mods are as rude and self- satisfied as ever.. )

    sorry, opera's 'awesome bar' is not as good as Firefox... If they had left it the way V1010 was, plus a few tweaks, it might have be almost as good, but..

    <yawn> yes, Opera may have been first to develop many things, but many were only half-developed!! added to the fact that when it was 'stolen' by Mozilla, opera did not seem to care or even bother to finish work on those bits, even when Mozilla showed how they could be vastly improved upon!!!

    And as for those 'widgettastic' people who care about nothing except how fancy the browser looks, and then complain when facebook or gmail make a small change, confusing opera, but *never* FF...

    I am glad FF is coming for android, the only reason opera mobile is doing well, is due to the lack of any good competition!! Support is sinking mainly due the native browser doing flash properly, and the rise of blackberry..

    BEFORE you refute this, show YOUR OWN proof!!!

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