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Mozilla Unveils Latest Beta Browser Designed For Android

Mozilla Unveils Latest Beta Browser Designed For Android

Mozilla has unveiled a beta of its latest browser designed for Google's Android and Nokia's Maemo mobile operating systems.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 for Mobile, codenamed Fennec, is intended to offer the same features and functionality as the desktop version, but with an emphasis on speed of performance and response.

The company claimed that the new version of the mobile browser includes the ability to synchronise bookmarks, tabs, history, passwords and form data.

The beta also introduces the Awesome Bar, which opens a new screen to access recent history, bookmarks and tabs.

However, most of the major changes have taken place under the covers as the result of the Electrolysis and Layers projects, according to a blog post by Mozilla mobile team technical lead Stuart Parmenter.

"Developers have the power to use the latest web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to build fast, powerful and beautiful mobile apps and add-ons that can reach millions of devices," he wrote.

The Electrolysis project relates to the architecture that handles out-of-process web content to separate the running of scripts and rendering from the browser interface for improved performance.

Layers, meanwhile, is an architectural development that enables hardware acceleration and other optimisations to drive graphics-related functionality, such as scrolling, pinch-to-zoom and animations.

"Upcoming releases will feature OpenGL hardware-accelerated compositing for improved scrolling of complex pages. They will also load web pages faster, thanks to optimisations of our inter-process communication," said Mozilla mobile engineer Matt Brubeck in a blog post.

The mobile beta is also available for Nokia's Maemo platform, but Mozilla will be looking primarily to grow its market share among Android users.

Feedback on Firefox 4 Beta 1 for Mobile can be posted at Mozilla's Go Mobile web site.


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