fennec


Nailed It, is right.  In the month where Adobe is announcing they are discontinuing Android Flash development, Mozilla is going the opposite and has implemented Flash and recent improvements into the latest Native Android Firefox project.  Since Firefox’s for Android inception back in March 2010, the top request and comment is “We want Flash, We Want Flash!”   Why people want that buggy plugin still floors me today, but Mozilla’s heard you loud and clear.   Brad Lassey, Doug Turner, James Wilcox and team have taken creative approaches and have finally nailed down a version on Native Firefox that is performing tremendously well so far.   Yes, there are still hiccups and work to be done, but lets pause for a second and applause our brave warriors in a nightly build worth downloading.

So take out your Android phone and your beloved Flash plugin, and take today’s nightly build for a spin.   With the combination of significant panning/zooming improvements from my last post, plus a series of awesomebar and tab UI changes, Firefox is looking primer and primer each day.

As always, help us test and file bugs.  That’s the best way to give us the feedback you care about.

Grab the latest Nightly build HERE.  (remember to check “unknown sources”)

Many of you have heard or already experiencing the Firefox browsing experience on your Android Phone or Tablet. We hope your experience has been a great one, and continue to look forward to your feedback. The engineering team is taking it a step further and porting Firefox to a Native Java Application, which promises similar features you’re used to, but with a handful of improvements!

Development is already in progress, and many features have already landing.  You can find out more details in our weekly newsletter , as well as specific areas to test and focus on.    There has already been significant improvements in startup performance, responsiveness, and a much more fuller, native experience on the phone.    Native Firefox Android is estimated to launch in Q1 2012.  Here’s a nice recent writeup by Ryan Paul at Arstechnica.com

In the meantime, there is a Testday tomorrow (Friday, Nov 11th) that you can join!   We are looking for folks interested in a first look, alpha feedback, and want to share their comments and bugs around our product.   If you are a firefox user, and own an Android device, you don’t want to miss this event!

UPDATED: If you’d like to download and test:

Calling all Android Phone Users!

Firefox Mobile 4.0 beta 1 was released last week for Android and Maemo platforms.  This is the first released beta of Mobile firefox on android, so we are looking for feedback and test coverage. How can you help?

First, download the beta here.   If you’re feeling more adventurous, skip the beta and go straight to our amazingly stable nightly builds. (grab the “fennec.apk” file)

Secondly, read Mark Finkle’s blog about the features that it comes with.  Highlights are AwesomeScreen, Integrated Sync, Badging, Sharing a site with others, and many more..

Lastly, help us test on your Android Device!   With the emergence of new Android phones coming out every week it seems, the Mobile team here is looking for more development and Test coverage across all these platforms.   Action steps:

  • Visit the Firefox for Android wiki for supported devices and list of known issues.  You can also look up mobile support.
  • Let us know which device you have!  Give feedback through our UserVoice forum and Firefox Input channels for feedback and bugs.  (Note: Input will be available in beta 2 directly through the options menu)
  • Run our manual mobile tests!   Create an account in http://litmus.mozilla.org and run our functional tests right here.
  • Finally, find us on irc.mozilla.org, #mobile channel for any real time chat.

Enjoy!

Update: Some of you are experiencing issues after installing where Firefox will start up, run for about 5 seconds, and then close and navigate back to the home page.   Please double check first if you are on a device that’s not running ARM7 architecture (non thumb instruction set).    (See supported list HERE)

If you are running an older processor like ARM6 and below, we’d still love to hear feedback on performance and usability by running a nothumb nightly build.   Go HERE for that.