Firefox for mobile has been coming along in leaps and bounds over the last few months, with Symbian and Android future support confirmed and Mozilla outing a new logo for it, but now Mozzy says its first full, non-beta release happens in December.
Firefox mobile is currently available in beta for Nokia Maemo tablets and alpha for Windows Mobile, but will drop the beta tag on the Finn’s multitasking OS from December, Mozilla’s user experience lead for mobile, Madhava Enros, told us today.
We tested out a recent nightly build of Firefox mobile beta on the new Nokia N900 tablet and came away much more excited about Espoo’s new phone than ever before. Although Firefox mobile doesn’t make use of Maemo’s swirl gestures for zooming, it ran quickly and smoothly (Frankly, the drop down results on the Awesome URL bar appeared faster than on the desktop Firefox 3.5), with bookmarks, tabs and back and forward buttons hidden off to the side, and pulled up by scrolling the page off screen to the left or right.
What impresses us most though is how well it replicates the desktop browser on a phone: YouTube videos load in browser, and Google Maps does likewise, even grabbing your location through the same desktop technology in seconds.
It’s just a shame Maemo has such a small install base compared to other platforms Firefox mobile has been promised – Enros says Mozilla chose to concentrate on Maemo first because “it’s open and it’s built with the internet in mind”. Still, expect the December launch to be just the start: if Mozilla can roll out Firefox mobile for other platforms quickly, Opera Mobile doesn’t stand a chance.
Out December | £free | Mozilla