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A Few Improvements for Firefox's Android UI

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the choice-is-great dept.

Firefox 81

The latest Firefox for Android nightly build now features a number of changes to the UI with the goals of "...keeping a clear distinction between different types of tabs; making better use of the screen real estate on different form-factors and orientations; and being more compliant with Android’s design language. ... the tabs tray is now divided into sections for each type of tab — regular, private, and remote — so that you always keep things separate and organized. Furthermore, once you select a private tab, the main toolbar becomes dark as a clear sign that you're in a different browsing mode. ... We now use a horizontal scrolling tabs tray whenever it improves our use of the screen space. This is achieved with a TwoWayView ... We've recently landed a new skin for Firefox for Android that is more aligned with Android's Holo design language. Almost all textures and gradients were replaced by flat colors giving a much lighter feel to the browser."

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81 comments

Slow news day? (-1, Offtopic)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year ago | (#43010125)

Really? How many people even use Firefox for Android?

Re:Slow news day? (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43010177)

Firefox for Android was important when it was first envisioned because the default browser for Android sucked. Today the default browser is Chrome and its much, much, more usable. About the only thing I think Firefox is better than the stock Android browser (Chrome) is that you can get reliable adblock working for it, something you can't do (or at least couldn't do) with the stock browser.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

hodet (620484) | about a year ago | (#43010329)

I have been using Opera Mobile for a while now and am very impressed with it.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010599)

Yup. I have no idea why anyone uses anything else.

Re:Slow news day? (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43011605)

Firefox's almost completely automatic syncing feature has saved my ass more than once. That's why.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about a year ago | (#43012137)

Chrome does the same thing too. And Firefox supports Flash where Chrome doesn't (on a Nexus 4). And finally: AdBlock+, and any number of addons FTW!

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43012337)

Flash support is really where it's at for Firefox on Android. The default browser did work with the flash plugin for me, but it was horrendously slow and required enabling flash for the entire page which made flash advertisements go active and rape performance (on a 1.4Ghz dual core tegra chip). Firefox I can just enable the video and actually use the 720 streams (1080 has audio sync issues outside of mxplayer).

Re:Slow news day? (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43012499)

I would trust Firefox's sync more because the data is encrypted in the client before its sent to the server. As in, the the server has no idea what the data is that its storing. The server just facilitates key generation, storage, retrieval and synchronisation of data.

With Chrome, your sync data is governed by the Google Privacy Policy [google.com] which basically means they can plunder it any way they feel like to serve you ads.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

wed128 (722152) | about a year ago | (#43013093)

As in, the the server has no idea what the data is that its storing. The server just facilitates key generation...

Wait...that can't be right...if the server is generating (and therefore has) the keys, then it can decrypt the stream, no?

Re:Slow news day? (2)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43014005)

There's more than one set of keys. This blog [gregoryszorc.com] different sync solutions in browsers fairly well and describes what Firefox does.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43013687)

because opera eats up 1/3 of your screen real estate on a screen that is already tiny?

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43013195)

I'm not so much impressed by Opera Mobile/Mini, just disappointed by every other browser being crap.

Re:Slow news day? (5, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43010339)

Give Mozilla credit man?

They are improving it vastly as Firefox 3.6 was beh and 4.0 was frankly aweful. The mobile versions for Android 2.x were terrible too. But that is not the case anymore. So much so I find myself starting to use it again in a non irritational like way and even like it.

I think one browser engine is harmful and I do not care if it is better. Ie 6 was far better than Netscape and even Mozilla 1.2 sadly and people forget that.

I do not want a webkit future no more than I wanted a IE 6 only future a decade ago. Website owners have to use all sorts of hacks with -webkit prefixes and strange relatie:position bugs that do not exist in IE nor Firefox. Many bash IE and Firefox for not being -webkit standard while ignoring W3C standards. It is not nearly as bad as it was but it is going in that direction as sites like HTML5test.com rush to benchmark futures that only exist in webkit to prove that any other browser sucks which are not even part of the W3C standard.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

brentrad (1013501) | about a year ago | (#43011553)

I agree that one great reason to have Firefox around is the same reason Firefox for Windows was important when it first came out: it is the non-corporate open source alternative browser, that uses a different rendering engine than the rest. It's important because it's not exactly the same as all the other browsers. Even if it were to have only 1% browser share, it will always be important for Firefox to be around.

Re:Slow news day? (-1, Offtopic)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43011915)

I agree with you completely except that I think Firefox should ditch Gecko for Webkit (aka Konqueror web part). There's a lot more to a browser than a rendering engine.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43012549)

Yes because monoculture is good for security and inovation.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43013101)

Oh yeah, great point Mr Anon, by your logic Linux must be the most insecure operating system around because of its dominance on embedded devices and phone.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43013089)

I agree with you completely except that I think Firefox should ditch Gecko for Webkit (aka Konqueror web part). There's a lot more to a browser than a rendering engine.

Wow, modded by a Mozilla troll or what?

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43015505)

No, just by people with common sense who know their history.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43017979)

...eople with common sense who know their history.

Hah. You not being one of them.

Gecko is the hairball developed for Seamonkey after tearing up the even nastier hairball inherited from Netscape. Webkit is the Konqueror web component lightly skinned by Apple and as such, is every bit as "pure and open" as Gecko. And a lot cleaner. Nothing stops Mozilla foundation from moving to it, and they can even GPL their fork of it, which in my opinion, would be a wise thing to do.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

brentrad (1013501) | about a year ago | (#43021321)

But then you're not really agreeing with me at all. The fact that it has a completely different rendering engine was exactly my point. A rendering engine alone does not a browser make, but that's a huge part of it. And any arguments about whether or not it's better or worse than WebKit are irrelevant. The fact that it's DIFFERENT, that it's "not-WebKit", was my point.

It's the same reason that I value having Linux around as a desktop OS, even if I don't personally run Linux as my desktop OS and prefer Windows. Having Linux there forces Microsoft to innovate and compete, makes it so that the computing landscape is not a monoculture, and offers a compelling alternative for those that prefer non-Microsoft OS's.

Re:Slow news day? (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43011615)

The problem with trident being the only browser engine wasn't just the single, but also that the sole developer was anti web browsers as a platform.

google wants the web to be the way to go, they'd prefer to not pay royalties to other people, but they're entire business is about a strong web, the opposite of Microsoft's vision, so I don't think it'd be the end.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43039607)

Trident was (hence sole developer) also proprietary. Not only did they control the development, they also controlled who could use it in derivative browsers. If webkit were Google's property, then I'd be worried if all the major browsers ended up using it too despite Google's opposite corporate interests (i.e., you'd have a danger of "Webkit isn't done until Hotmail won't run). But it isn't. I still think having multiple competing engines is a Good Thing (TM), but it isn't the end of the world if Firefox and IE die (or at least adopt webkit as their engine a la Opera).

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year ago | (#43010347)

Given that it is in the 10-50 million installs bracket (in spite of the fact that the current incarnation hasn't been around that long) I think this item is more relevant then most on /.

I think there are many reasons it is great, but the most important for most users is that it sync's with desktop Firefox. So, I would say that Firefox for Android is the best choice for a mobile browser for anyone who uses desktop Firefox, and that must be hundreds of millions of users.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

IronChef (164482) | about a year ago | (#43010433)

Chrome for Android is better in every way, except no Adblock.

Unfortunately Firefox for Android regularly freezes up on me, choking on pages that Chrome renders without trouble.

I wish they would fix things like that before working on the UI.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43010641)

Thats because web designers use webkit CSS and not the W3c one whenever it detects a small screen. It is not tested for anything else except for desktop usage.

-webkit-Here's why -moz-Here's why -ms-Here's why (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43014947)

Thats because web designers use webkit CSS and not the W3c one whenever it detects a small screen.

Perhaps part of it is because the effects needed to make the UI that users of devices with a small screen expect aren't in the latest W3C Recommendation, and the names of those effects differ between WebKit and Gecko by the prefix [slashdot.org].

Re:Slow news day? (4, Insightful)

hydrofix (1253498) | about a year ago | (#43010559)

Chrome for Android is still only available for Android versions greater than 4.0, which excludes about 60% of all Android users, while Firefox is available to Android 2.2+, which constitutes about 98% of all Android users (source [android.com])

Re:Slow news day? (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#43010569)

Firefox for Android was important when it was first envisioned because the default browser for Android sucked. Today the default browser is Chrome and its much, much, more usable. About the only thing I think Firefox is better than the stock Android browser (Chrome) is that you can get reliable adblock working for it, something you can't do (or at least couldn't do) with the stock browser.

Adblock and Orbot (Tor) without root access are pretty good reasons why some people use it.

Re:Slow news day? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010657)

Perhaps the most important differentiator is one you don't see: putting user privacy first.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43011877)

Perhaps the most important differentiator is one you don't see: putting user privacy first.

That would explain why their privacy policy can be abbreviated to "you have none" and there's no way to whitelist cookies. Not that I've seen any browser with better options on Android; Google, being the biggest tracker and ad network, certainly won't hint at the idea.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010667)

I've found Chrome offers no benefits over the latest versions of Firefox. At all. In fact, Firefox feels noticeably faster, more responsive, more extensible, and doesn't feel like a skeleton still waiting to be filled. It also feels like it's moving more quickly, somehow.

I think it's really down to perception more than anything. I've heard a lot of people badmouth Firefox lately simply because it's Firefox, and praise Chrome simply because it's Chrome.

Re:Slow news day? (4, Insightful)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about a year ago | (#43011583)

I've found Chrome offers no benefits over the latest versions of Firefox. At all. In fact, Firefox feels noticeably faster, more responsive, more extensible, and doesn't feel like a skeleton still waiting to be filled. It also feels like it's moving more quickly, somehow.

I think it's really down to perception more than anything. I've heard a lot of people badmouth Firefox lately simply because it's Firefox, and praise Chrome simply because it's Chrome.

Sounds about right to me. Generally, people still want Google to annihilate any competition because thats their browser of choice and again, generally, people want to validate their choice as correct by making it look like at the only proper choice. /me generalizes a lot, but really, that's how it is.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010759)

At least Firefox handles touch events properly, something the built-in Android Browser and Chrome haven't done correctly since around Android 2.2.2. Nothing quite as perplexing as having to cancel touch events just to detect them properly, thus ruining the native scrolling.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43011539)

...About the only thing I think Firefox is better than the stock Android browser (Chrome) is that you can get reliable adblock working for it...

...and flash

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43012095)

The default browser is only Chrome on Nexus devices. AOSP uses the old Android browser. The thing is that the performance of Chrome is dreadful, AOSP is merely acceptable, and Firefox is actually fast.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Kynde (324134) | about a year ago | (#43012347)

For me it's the awesome bar in Firefox that I've grown to depend on desktop, too. I just type a letter or two of the most frequent sites I visit and there it is. Android chromes are miserable at that and for me that's a game changer.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43012465)

I use Firefox on a Nexus 4 and I think it works really nicely, subjectively better than Chrome. Ad blocking is a vital feature in a browser and that alone is reason to use it.

However I also have an Asus T300 which sucks pretty badly with Firefox with frequent "application not responding" messages. I don't know if it's the device or the software since the T300 has pretty poor IO performance which might be causing an bottleneck.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

rklrkl (554527) | about a year ago | (#43012609)

I use Firefox Beta on Android myself, but I do throw in some useful add-ons of course. Now it has click-to-play, Flashblock is less important (yes, I sideload Flash for the sites that need it), but I do install Adblock Plus to keep myself sane. Another obviously useful add-on on an Android tablet is Phony - set it to be "desktop Firefox" and you get the full desktop versions of all sites rather than some half-baked mobile version.

Whilst Firefox isn't any better or worse than Chrome on the desktop, I do think it provides a better browsing experience than Chrome in Android, particularly on a tablet. And, yes, Firefox Sync is handy (but Chrome has something similar anyway). Also note that Safe Browsing that alerts about malware is now standard on Android Firefox - I'm not sure, but I believe no other Android browser has that as standard.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year ago | (#43012707)

I think you may be confused.

Chrome isn't the 'default Android browser'. Chrome can be the default, if you download and set it up that way. But the 'default', at least as in ASOP and Cyanogenmod, is just "Browser". It's likely based on the same chrome engine, but it isn't Chrome (at least a recent version of it).

I've been using Browser on my (Cyanogenmod 10) phone for the past couple months because the latest Chrome (which has been getting slower and more buggy for the past year on Android) is too glitchy to effectively use on this specific device (due to interaction with eg. menus - supposedly it's a Chrome bug, not a CM bug). Chrome is simply too slow and buggy to be generally useable, up to and including how long it takes to launch the application.

In contrast... Firefox for Android is actually faster. I've not used Firefox on the desktop (or laptop, whatever) since Chrome 4 was available on the desktop (so that's what, 3, 4+ years?), but I must say, I am impressed with how well Firefox works on here, and how generally fast and responsive it is. It renders pages pretty well, too. I've not used it long enough to know if I actually like it or if it's 'stable' but it's good enough to consider replacing the other two (Browser and Chrome) as the 'default'.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#43012951)

It's likely based on the same chrome engine, but it isn't Chrome (at least a recent version of it).

While they both use WebKit, the version in Browser contains a significant number of optimisations not present in Chrome.

In contrast... Firefox for Android is actually faster

I installed every Android browser I could find trying to find one that gave me fine-grained control over cookies, yet even FireFox only had an option to always allow, always reject, and didn't allow deleting individual ones. This is something we've had on desktop browsers for a decade. I have no idea why Android browsers suck so much in this respect. I can understand Google not wanting to make it easy to remove tracking cookies, but why do none of the other browsers (including FireFox and Opera) do it correctly?

Firefox is better than Chroume on Android (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#43014771)

I use a lot of tabs. I cannot stand the way Chrome handles tabs. Firefox is better at tab management and history management.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

unimind (743130) | about a year ago | (#43010251)

Well, I for one (I think there are probably others) still think Firefox kicks ass in spite of many of the complaints folks have had and would like to use Firefox on android more. Some UI improvements just might make that more likely.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

slaker (53818) | about a year ago | (#43010257)

I use it in large part because so many of the browser addons I like on my desktop systems work just fine with it, and also because I can have a different set of standard browser cookies for various things and maintain some professional/personal separation.

The only real problem I have with it is that many, many "mobile" web sites seem to be coded with the assumption that all mobile browsers are WebKit, so mobile sites are occasionally inconvenient to visit.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43010977)

I'm a 'casual' user. I use an ICS 4.0.3 rooted tablet, and never could get Chrome working, just read here that it only works for higher OS's, that explains why Chrome is unusable for me. I'm using Dolphin on my 2.2 smartphone, and Opera on the tablet with no problems except ... How can you easily back up the bookmarks on Opera??? (Dolphin does backups with no hassle)

There's no easy method that I can see, if anyone here knows a way I'd appreciate learning how. A couple of weeks ago I googled for it, and found a convoluted way of doing it using ''ES File Explorer''. Guess I'll be trying out Firefox (and have 4 different browsers on this tablet).

Re:Slow news day? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43013765)

Answering my own question here. Opera syncs between devices (Settings / Opera Link).

Downloaded Firefox on the tablet last night and it works well, looks like a tossup between the two browsers right now. I'll wait and see what happens when Opera releases their new version in a month or so.

Flash is the reason (2)

sponga (739683) | about a year ago | (#43010975)

In the last 2 months the other browsers kind of pooped out and stopped supporting Flash, everyone has been flooding over to Firefox.

Firefox has an opportunity to take that second place to chrome, take over Dolphin browsers spot.
So that's why you see all this development for it all of a sudden.

Re:Flash is the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43011347)

So that's why you see all this development for it all of a sudden.

Any "sudden" development is on Boot2Gecko as Firefox OS, and Firefox for Android is just getting all the benefits from the core work of that.

Re:Flash is the reason (3, Informative)

brentrad (1013501) | about a year ago | (#43011535)

Flash is a good reason to keep Firefox Mobile around. Another is that Google's iGoogle personalized homepage no longer works on the stock Android browser or Chrome for Android, but still works fine on Firefox Mobile (if you set Firefox to download the desktop version of the page.) I haven't found any way to fool the other browsers into loading it.

Yes Google has deprecated iGoogle and is going to kill it completely later this year, but damnit, I like my iGoogle homepage!

It's also nice to have three different browsers around for those situations where a webpage just doesn't render right in one or the other. But I generally prefer Chrome for Android for most of my daily browsing. It's quick at rendering and loading, and since it uses WebKit most web pages just work correctly (but not all of them!)

I don't use Firefox sync any longer, even though I only browse with Firefox on my desktop computers. I used it for a while, but it was killing my battery because it was always doing its syncing thing. Once I turned that feature off my battery life went way up.

Re:Flash is the reason (2)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about a year ago | (#43011595)

I think Firefox Sync has been fixed. I had similar issues but those are gone now.
I use Firefox Beta instead of nightly (nightly seems to regularly kill Sync in various ways, that make the browser either slow, or eat battery).
Had been using it with Sync for 2 month now, zero issue. And it starts faster than nightly (i guess its due to something like debug code being shipped with nightly, although, I didn't check)

Re:Slow news day? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43011667)

I keep trying, but can't find how to private browse, hopefully It's far more.intuitive now.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43011935)

install the nightlies.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#43012295)

Really? How many people even use Firefox for Android?

I use Opera Mobile for now, but once Firefox for Android becomes useable I won't hesitate a second to switch, Adblock Plus and automatic sync are just so good features.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year ago | (#43016105)

Just because you don't use it, doesn't mean no one use it.
Firefox is a good browser, have features that other android browser don't have (or are in two or more different browsers), comes from a trusted company (security and privacy point of view).

Not all people uses the same phones, mini-tablets, tablets... each type of device and usage makes one app better than others.

finally, competition is good, we all win with it!

lol hahahaa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010267)

Ubuntu £inux has created a monopoly on the software industry that encompases PCs, tablets, phones, and embedded devices and they are going to put all cloud service provides, except themselves, out of business. Did you know you can install Ubuntu on your Nexus 7 *natively* now?! This means that they are finally going to kill Google and become the only serious contender in the mobile market. This is unnaceptable. Did you know that Ubuntu can't run the hit release Aliens: Colonial Marines, a classic of our generation? Ubuntu intentionally doesn't run AAA games in order to put their studios out of business and break the global economy, putting millions out of work. Did you know Ubuntu phones contain NSA black ops tracking ribbons that can geolocate you anywhere in the world without electricity? They are the same GPS tracking ribbons used in $20 bills and are activated by satellites in orbit using a beta particle beam. Did you know that Ubuntu rewrites the firmware in your video card to put a permanent rootkit on your computer? Microsoft has tried their best to beat the Ubuntu tycoons, but it isn't working and many fear tyranny is upon us. I am fighting back againsr Ubuntu by installing Windows 8, you should do the same before it's too late. Ubuntu is the root cause of software piracy, it is distributed in an ISO image like pirated games and it includes a free, built in, bittorrent client. Ubuntu is the root of all evil.

Yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010399)

troll on .2
  I have subject, b*(. HGere is conc.

Start page (3, Interesting)

ThurstonMoore (605470) | about a year ago | (#43010503)

The start page showing the browser history was a deal breaker. Did they get rid of that?

Re:Start page (1)

TyIzaeL (1203354) | about a year ago | (#43013179)

Nope. Even more annoying is if I pin sites to the start page they have tendency to go away every now and then.

Re:Start page (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43014207)

This is why I use the Dolphin Browser on Android. It is much better than Firefox.

slashvertising? (0)

phluid61 (2501032) | about a year ago | (#43010521)

Does this not strike anyone else as a massive slashvertisement post? Surely some of the elements mentioned could be extracted to create an article about Android UI design that uses Firefox as a case study; I could see that being relevant to at least some of the /. audience. Or it could have been pared right back to say: there's a new version of Firefox for Android in the works. Instead we have essentially a dump of the changelog of an in-development app. As it is, this is not news.

android is not ready for the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43010809)

Oh wait...

I love Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43011009)

But PLEASE cache the awesome bar results in the mobile browser. Sync however often you need (how about configurable!) but spare me a request for every keystroke.

Re:I love Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43013713)

Oh, I also have a feuture request, I post anon so everybody who agrees can upvote things they, too, want.

Swipe between tabs.

How can anyone use Firefox on android daily? It's clicking mad.
There is a number which indicates the number of tabs you have open underneath your URL-bar. You cannot simply swipe it to the left to hover over tab titles and select the title you want.

That would be a single motion to change between the current tab and any of the other tabs. Just switch to the tab on which I lift my finger. A simple request Firefox mozilla team.

No, you first have to click the the number which opens a previews pane. Then swipe down that list If you don't want any of the first 3 tabs. Then click the tab you want. And then when I'm done reading the tab I want to close it and jump to another tab automatically like Firefox does on the desktop but there is no [Control]+[W] command like on the desktop. Click on the number, click to close current Tab and Firefox preselects the same Tab as it does on the desktop (whoohoo something that is the same on Android and the desktop!) but again you don't go there automatically you first have to close the tab manager pane. Pffff, navigation between tabs takes 300 to 400 percent the number of clicks as on the desktop.

Let's search for a close current Tab option.
- Click the number-of-available tabs number widget, perhaps known as Tab manager button, and swipe it to the right to close the current tab. This doesn't work

- Instead of scrolling down the page let's try to swipe it to the right (and thus trow it away), like items in the tab manager and recent apps list. This doesn't work.

- Delete it with a gesture, scroll up and down, in the shape of the letter W. This doesn't work

- Delete it with a gesture, scroll up and down, in the shape of the twenty year old Newton gesture Strike-trough-pattern-to-delete-object.
This doesn't work.

No wonder people complain about Firefox for android, navigation between tabs is a lot more labor intensive then on the desktop with no similar alternatives.

Firefox becomes Firefox OS? (2)

caseih (160668) | about a year ago | (#43011411)

I don't have much to say about the mobile browser; I don't really use a mobile browser all that much and Dolphin works fine for what I need.

But when I clicked on the links in the summary, much to my dismay, I find that the Firefox team is embarking on some grand plan to have a unified look and feel across all platforms. They call it Project Kilimanjaro or some such thing. And by that I mean eschewing any attempt to look like it belongs on a platform, and to go its own way, Google Chrome-style. Bad enough that Gnome thinks it is an operating system, but now Firefox? I just want a browser that fits with my desktop theme, and looks like a normal app. I don't need an "experience."

I don't get it. Maybe I'm too old. I'm totally happy with the way Firefox looks and works with my GTK theme extension that I've kept alive for the last few firefox versions (well I'm on 10ESR right now). And tabs on top never made sense to me. When a tab is up that doesn't have a url bar or a search box, how do do a search? With tabs on bottom, I just hit the search bar, type, hit alt-enter, and a new tab with my results shows up, no matter what my current tab looks like.

Anyway, it seems like we're regressing in terms of UI design. I guess years of research (not to mention that milions of people have learned things a certain way) doesn't mean much.

Re:Firefox becomes Firefox OS? (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | about a year ago | (#43011579)

Firefox doesn't override your title bar and OS windows management controls.
Now then again I don't specially like some the new UI either but, those are mockups and not implemented.

Re:Firefox becomes Firefox OS? (1)

Dagger2 (1177377) | about a year ago | (#43011917)

It does on Windows, unless you set various options that aren't really supported and are likely to break when the big theme refresh lands.

The new UI is happening, too. See, for instance, this blog post [msujaws.wordpress.com] about the changes to customization that will restrict what you can do with the UI. Or the UX branch [mozilla.org], which has curvy tabs already.

Extensions can probably address many of the problems they're introducing, but -- particularly with the theme changes -- it's really getting to the point where an actual fork would be easier.

Word wrapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43011857)

Word wrapping is the best feature of Opera for mobile. This single feature is the reason for keeping Opera. Hopefully Firefox will add this feature

Re:Word wrapping (1)

TeRanEX (916440) | about a year ago | (#43012823)

Firefox for Android has an option to "Pinch to reflow text", letting you zoom in on the page and reflowing the text, pretty much the same as Opera Mobile does (at least on my N900), if that is what you mean?

Firefox Beta (1)

TeRanEX (916440) | about a year ago | (#43013011)

I just received an update of Firefox Beta from Google Play which reports as version 20.0. It seems to already contain these changes. As TFA says, my tabs are now divided in normal, private and remote tabs. I can also easily create private tabs with a dark background and some purple color. It also shows the Firefox Marketplace, which I didn't notice before.

Re:Firefox Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43014525)

I believe that the Marketplace is a new addition, seeing as Mozilla just introduced Firefox OS at the MWC a few days ago.

How 'bout speed? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43013995)

My android has a dual-core 1.8ghz chip in it, and Firefox runs like absolute shit on it.

Re:How 'bout speed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43015197)

My android has a dual-core 1.8ghz chip in it, and Firefox runs like absolute shit on it.

Well here's another bit of anecdata- runs just fine on my single-core 1 GHz phone (HTC One V.)

Re:How 'bout speed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43015319)

Well, even my Dell Streak 7, which has an inferior dualcore and still runs Android 2.2.2, runs the latest Firefox at least as well as the Webkit browsers I have on it. And it runs more responsively than even Chrome on my quad-core 4.2 device. So there.

Re:How 'bout speed? (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year ago | (#43016181)

i have a dual core A9 at 1.6Ghz on a ICS and it runs just fine, same speed or faster than "browser" or chrome... so exactly what is your problem? maybe the problem is somewhere else or trigger by something, like the internet connection speed, number of tab openned, flash, heavy javascript, etc

Re:How 'bout speed? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43016237)

HTC Evo 3D here.

It takes forever to start up, and it seems to take an inordinately long time to process and render fairly simple pages such as wikipedia entries. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm connected via cellular radio or via wifi. In fact, even pages local to my SD card take a while to render.

Bookmark folders?? Ability to sort bookmarks?? (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#43015527)

Sadly, doesn't look like it, yet. *Sigh*

I just *love* scrolling through all my bookmarks looking for one I know I have in there. Yes, I know, I can use the search bar to find it, but that doesn't really help when I just want to browse bookmarks of a particular type...for example, restaurants, or online stores.

In the past, I have stored these bookmark types in their own folders, then when I'm feeling peckish (for food or toys :), I'll just open the relevant bookmark folder and see what looks 'appetizing' today. With FF mobile [mozilla.org], there is no way to even sort your bookmarks manually to group similar types together, much less have them tidily tucked away in their own folder like you can on the desktop client. You are stuck with some weird arse ordering system invented by Mozilla (new bookmarks go to the end of your bookmark list...almost?)

This (apparently deliberate) design choice just baffles me...why, Mozilla? Why take away folder and bookmark management tools for mobile devices, where people are constantly looking for ways to optimize screen real estate? Why??

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