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Firefox 4 Android beta gets stomach stapled

Now with 60% less beef

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Firefox 4 for Android has emerged from the fat farm, and it's 60 per cent less beefy.

On Thursday, Mozilla released a second Firefox 4 mobile beta for Android and Maemo, and the size of the Android install has dropped from 43MB down to 17MB. "There is still room for improvement and we’ll continue to make the install size smaller," the open sourcers said in a blog post.

But if you installed the previous beta — aka Fatfox — you can't get rid of all the fat unless you uninstall it before setting up the new beta.

Mozilla also says it has reduced memory usage, improved text rendering, made panning and zooming "faster and smoother," and lowered page-load times. On Android 2.2, the open sourcers say, the browser is about 25 per cent faster on the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark than Android's bundled WebKit browser.

In the next release, Mozilla plans to add hardware acceleration to improve scrolling and zooming still further, and it will turn on HTML5 video. It's also working to "improve browser responsiveness" while the included Firefox Sync synchronizes data across your other Firefox platforms.

You can download the new beta here. ®

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