Mozilla releases Firefox for Android beta

Mozilla's new beta version of Firefox for Android supports over 70 smartphones.

Mozilla released a new beta version of its popular Firefox browser for Android on Tuesday.

Firefox for Android supports more than 70 devices running different versions of the operating system--from Android 2.2 ("Froyo") to Android 4.0 ("Ice Cream Sandwich"). The beta is only available for phones (not tablets), and in English at this time, but Mozilla plans to add support for tablets and other languages "soon."

New features in the beta version include:

  • A redesigned user interface with a new "Awesome Screen"
  • Significant performance enhancements, including improved startup and response times, graphics performance and panning and zooming, as well as hardware acceleration for better responsiveness from Web apps, games and photos
  • Flash support
  • A new start page with Top Sites
  • Better text readability through font size inflation
  • Plug-ins load by touch on default
  • Updated minimum system requirements to improve performance for phones running Froyo

"We are always working on a beta here at Mozilla, but this one is special because we've done a lot of extra work to add features, improve performance and address things that make mobile browsing faster and easier," the browser maker wrote in a blog post announcing the new beta version.

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