back to article Firefox preps native Android interface

The Firefox interface on Android is going native – for snappier performance and to gobble less memory. Mozilla has decided the Firefox UI for Android will be built using native code instead of the XML-based language Mozilla had used, called XUL. It seems Firefox will continue to use the Gecko layout engine. Director of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    That people actually use the abomination that is Firefox Mobile, when Opera is so much better...

    Clearly there is no educating some people.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Better in some ways

      Opera Mini is fine provided:

      a) You don't mind Opera knowing all your browsing history which is exactly what happens right now.

      b) You can put up with the sometimes questionable layout choices it makes

      c) Don't intend to use any web application that has rich user experience, e.g. sites which are heavy with DOM / AJAX

      d) Are stuck on a tiny screen, not a tablet

      e) You just want to browse sites on the internet, not on your local intranet

      If none of these things apply then you should really be using ether Chrome or Firefox. Firefox has pretty poor performance on phones but I imagine it works well enough on tablets and has one of the best layout engines. If the UI goes native then I expect performance will improve sufficiently that it will be a good choice even on phones.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Opera Mobile

        You know that Opera Mobile exists right? it's a proper browser and using the same Presto core as the desktop OS.

        It also blows Firefox (and the native Android browser) out the water in terms of performance and HTML5 support.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          So what

          Opera Mobile shares many of the same criticisms levelled at Firefox - large download, slow layout etc. So if Firefox is no use for someone's requirements then chances are Opera is too. That is why I focussed on Opera Mini.

          It is also complete and utter nonsense to claim Opera Mobile has better HTML5 support or layout than Firefox. Toms Hardware runs a "grand prix" testing the major browsers and Opera is bumping along in last place for HTML5 support at present. In its favour, turbo mode would be useful, but it doesn't support extensions like adblockers so what you gain in bandwidth you lose by making more requests and rendering more junk to the screen.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP touchpad

    A decent browser for the touchpad. Anyone, anyone...

    1. Piro


      That'd be a nice idea!

      It'd be nice if it could bypass the text rendering as well, since that always appears smudged, and often chopped up.

      re: the article - I just use Opera Mobile. It's a hell of a lot smoother than the built in Gingerbread browser, and everything I've seen of Fennec would make it seem hugely bloated in comparison.

    2. Martin 47

      Dolphin seems to work good on my asus pad

    3. Richard Lloyd
      Thumb Up

      HP TouchPad browser? Why Firefox of course...

      phcahill, the decent browser for the HP TouchPad is, of course, Firefox. This assumes you've installed CyanogenMod 7 on your TouchPad first - I did and it's my first experience of Android on a tablet. I'm loving it and live wallpapers actually start to make sense on a tablet too.

      A bit of overclocking love via "CPU Master" and my HP TouchPad is flying with pretty well any app, Firefox Beta included. I've barely booted back to webOS, which did indeed have a virtually unconfigurable and therefore unusable browser (proxies? Font size? Cert management? Extensions? Themes? View Source? You're out of luck).

  3. Dave Lawton

    Other things need doing first.

    Like using the Android screen rendering engine.

    I don't know what is in use ATM, but it's bloody awful compared to Stock, Dolphin, & Opera.

    The other thing that springs to mind is the preferences section, which is abysmal compared to the desktop version.

    </rant> There's other stuff, but that will do for now.

  4. PaulR79

    Checkerboard scrolling, no flash, no thanks

    I've been following Firefox on Android since the first few betas and it still amazes me that after all the releases they still have it doing that awful checkerboard mess while scrolling. No other browser does it and Opera Mobile made a point to kill it and it shows. I get the feeling that Android is a lesser priority for them despite what they say as new releases have done very little that I can see. The most obvious things missing are smooth scrolling, text rendering (still) and Flash although I'd hate to see Flash running in it if they can't even manage smooth text scrolling and fast rendering without it.

    1. DrXym Silver badge


      Safari does that on the iPhone. It is quiet ugly.

  5. Jim Carter

    FF runs like a bloody dog on my phone.

    Hence keeping with Dolphin HD. Sorry Firefox, but I won't be switching any time soon.

  6. Dropper


    Dolphin Browser - the only way to go for Android. It supports Flash and doesn't run like a snail thru treacle (Firefox). Also it wasn't created in 1993 (Safari) so it has actual features and can browse websites.

  7. Relgoshan


    Dumping their custom XUL turd will be a fine blessing. Opera Mobile already does the full Facebook (though I don't), the full Youtube and just about any other site. Mozilla needs to get serious with playing catchup or they will die on both mobile and desktop.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Default browser suits me fine thanks

    I'm quite happy with the stock standard android browser - flash works as does everything else, snappy to use.

    Tried Dolphin for a bit, didn't like it.

    Firefox? meh. Stopped using it on the desktop due to bloat, slow loading times etc.

    Tried the current mobile iteration on my Desire, which lasted all of 2 minutes before I ditched it.

    If it can't render everything, including flash, not interested.

  9. zanto
    Thumb Up

    another dolphin user

    cannot imagine using anything better on my milestone. It's to phones what ff is to desktops/laptops.

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