I must say, I’m personally super excited for the upcoming first alpha release of Firefox for Android (and available for the Nokia N900 too!) I switch back and forth between mobile devices, but lately I’ve been hammering away with my Motorola Droid…and it could really use a browser makeover.
As we get closer to alpha (I can almost taste it!) I’ll be posting some new demo videos to show you all my favorites, but for now, I’ll just briefly speak to them. The best thing, imho, is Firefox Sync. It’s a built-in feature now! Just go to the Add-ons Manager, enter your Account credentials and voila — your desktop history, bookmarks, passwords, form data and tabs get synchronized with your mobile. Ah, it’s so nice — I call it the Sigh-of-Relief feature. It relaxes me.
Also in our alpha release is electrolysis. Doug T showed me some side-by-side comparisons of mobile Web browsers with and without electrolysis running. Pretty freaking amazing if you ask me. (Electrolysis was first used in desktop Firefox to protect against plugin crashes. Firefox for mobile has now extended this technology to all Web content, and all web content will execute in a separate process from the main application.) With electrolysis, we see increased stability, enhanced performance and optimized security. Seriously, read Mark Finkle’s blog post on this bad ass technology.
A feature/function near and dear to my heart is readability. Zooming, reformatting the page, and making the Web page function so it’s easier for the reader to view is a big deal. The team understands this and debated on the best approach: making it a great experience for the user while maintaining the integrity of the Web page and the Web developer’s intention. This is an example of some of the functionality I can’t wait to showcase. It may seem simple, but responsive zooming and flow of page make a big difference.
Last but not least, I want to mention add-ons. Oh, add-ons, you continuously save the day and make me happy to be a Firefox user. As many of you know, Firefox is the world’s first mobile Web browser to support add-ons. There are some great ones in the gallery that let you find points of interest near you, translate languages fast if you’re traveling, block out annoying ads, etc. I can’t wait to see and use more — especially around gaming and commerce (pretty please!). (Add-on Developers: If you haven’t already, update your add-on to 2.0a1 to ensure compatibility with this upcoming release.)
My ramblings have turned into a bit of a novella, so I’ll stop there, but I am sure to say *to be continued*. There are genius new and improved features coming in Firefox mobile and I can’t wait to dish more. Stay tuned.