The guys over at Mozilla are now a step closer to deliver the final version of their mobile browser for Maemo-based devices, the Firefox Mobile, formerly known under the codename of Fennec. The company has just made available for download the third release candidate flavor of Firefox for Maemo, which comes with significant improvements in performance when compared to the previously released flavors of the browser.
At the same time, the release notes of the new version of the browser also show that the support for plugins has been disabled in an attempt to improve the overall user experience, that panning is more responsive and zooming in on Web pages is much faster, that there are a series of touch interface optimizations included in the browser, along with synchronization and performance optimizations, and more.
Here are some excerpts from the release notes of Firefox for Maemo RC3:
- The Awesome Bar will now pop up much faster when you tap on it
- Clear private data: As an extra security measure, you can clear all your private data via your Preferences
- Automated Update: Install upgrades directly to your device when you receive an automatic notification, or wait until you’re ready.
- Weave Sync: Create a Weave Sync account on your desktop and install the Weave Sync add-on on your mobile to synchronize your Firefox tabs, passwords, history and bookmarks between your desktop and mobile
- Modified Content Sink preference has significantly decreased page load time
- Use of a new, less animated page load throbber decreased page load time by another 10-15%
- Greatly improved panning and scrolling performance
- View without obstructions: The browser controls and Awesome Bar get stowed away when you reach your website so you can use the whole screen to view the site. Start to pan up or to the sides and your controls and Awesome Bar reappear
According to Mozilla, the main reason for which the support for plugins has been disabled is that some of them delivered a slow performance level, “On most Web pages that use the Adobe Flash plugin, the performance of the plugin didn't meet our standards, and the interactivity and performance of the entire Web page was negatively impacted.” However, they say that work is done towards offering users the possibility to enable plugins for some sites, and that they will probably deliver the functionality via an add-on.
The Firefox for Maemo mobile browser can be used on Nokia's handsets running under the OS, and is available in more than 30 languages. The software solution has been optimized mainly for the Nokia N900 Internet Tablet, but is also compatible with older Maemo-based devices. Moreover, those who do not own such a handset can try it on their desktop computer, regardless the OS they are running, since it is available for Windows, Linux and Mac computers too.
Download Firefox for Maemo RC3
Download Firefox Mobile RC3 for Windows PCs
Download Firefox Mobile RC3 for Linux PCs
Download Firefox Mobile RC3 for Mac
Firefox for Maemo RC3 (Release Candidate) Available for Download
Final version just around the corner