GMA News Online

Mozilla begins Firefox's Android overhaul

November 23, 2011 10:22am

Tags: Google
Mozilla has started the process of overhauling its Firefox browser for mobile devices running Google’s Android OS, swapping its flexible but slow XUL-based interface for Android’s more responsive native one.
Release manager Christian Legnitto said the new interface will start rolling out in the “Nightly” channel, which is for early testers.
“We do not intend to update (Android) Honeycomb users to Native UI, as there is no tablet support yet,” he said.
Daily NativeUI updates will be built out of the birch repository and offered to Firefox Nightly for Android users, he added.
A separate article on CNET said the decision to switch to Android’s native UI from XUL was a tough one for Mozilla, as XUL allowed it to remain compatible add-ons.
“The new version is strategically important for Mozilla for multiple reasons. First, smartphones and tablets are at the center of a mobile-first transformation of the computing industry, and Firefox isn’t preinstalled anywhere right now. Second, with Firefox shut out on Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Android is effectively the only route for Mozilla to bring its browser to the mobile market,” it noted.
CNET also noted Mozilla’s objective, to ensure an open Web, relies on Firefox – which lags behind Apple and Google browsers based on the open-source WebKit project. — TJD, GMA News
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Tags: Google

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