If you are looking to get the most out of your Android smartphone you may have noticed that the stock internet browser is not necessarily the best option, apparently Skyfire is the fastest option available, however if you are a fan of Mozilla Firefox you may want to check out the Mozilla Firefox Mobile Beta for Android.
You can download the beta here, I recently installed it on my partners HTC Desire, installation took just a few minutes and I was pretty pretty impressed with the simple UI and the many built-in features, below I will talk about what impressed me and disappointed me the most.
The first thing that you notice is the app’s awesome bar, when you begin entering a website URL you will notice that there are built-in add ons which allow quick and easy search for Google, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia, the photo below shows exactly what I mean. You can add your own integrated search add ons if you want.
When I entered www.product-reviews.net the site loaded very quickly over a 3G connection, also pinch to zoom worked pretty well, however if you scroll up and down rapidly or pinch and zoom and quickly pan around the page there is a little lag before the browser shows the correct content, on the whole I was happy with how the Firefox beta performed.
The browser detects a range of touch gestures, if you run your finger across the screen left to right you can go back to previous websites and see small previews of the pages to make navigation easier, the panel which shows your previous sites also allows quick access to bookmarks and history. If you run your finger across the screen in the other direction you can quickly navigate back and forward and add bookmarks, also there is a button for access to settings.
If you scroll to the top of the website you are viewing you see the address bar, here you can quickly enter a new site, access bookmarks and history and you can also set up Firefox mobile to synchronize with your desktop PC’s Firefox installation. If you press the website’s icon next to the address bar you can quickly save the page as a PDF file, find certain words on the page and share the page via Facebook, Twitter, Bluetooth, email and much more.
On the whole I was pretty happy with the Firefox Beta, however it is clear that some work needs to be done before the final release, I was frustrated to find that Adobe Flash player was not installable, however I am sure that this will be fixed before this latest version of Firefox goes pubic.
Remember you can download the Firefox for Android beta here, give it a try and come back to let us know whether you are a fan of it.
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