Mozilla lands fresh Firefox 4 beta on Android, Maemo
Spit and polish desktop beta goes live
Mozilla has released a new Firefox 4 beta for Android and Maemo, hot on the heels of its latest desktop beta.
The new mobile beta adds copy and paste tools to the browser's URL bar. It lets you save websites as PDFs for offline viewing. And it fixes some keyboard issues that plagued the previous beta. Mozilla says it has also simplified setup for Firefox – a means of synchronizing browser setting across devices – while making it easier to discover add-ons.
For the first time, the Firefox 4 beta is available from the Android Market. If you've previously installed a beta on Android, Mozilla suggests you uninstall and then reinstall to ensure smooth updates. The Maemo beta can be downloaded here.
And yes, Mozilla has officially released an eighth Firefox 4 desktop beta. Yesterday, the beta was due to go live, but the download page still pointed to beta 7. You can download beta 8 here.
Like the mobile beta, the desktop beta streamlines Sync setup and revamps the add-on manager. It also beefs WebGl support for accelerated 3D graphics and fixes several hundred bugs. Firefox 4 is due for official release "early next year." ®
Firefox on Maemo
Picked up the nightly Firefox 4 beta 4 the other night and It really is slow as molasses.
Slower than Opera 10.6 (naturally) but also much, much slower than the built-in MicroB which is based on Mozilla. In general I prefer Opera to MicroB but the latter does at least support Flash. Firefox doesn't support Flash either and combined with it's chronic performance means it's a total non-starter.
Firefox 4 on Maemo needs to improve page load times by an order of magnitude at least if it has any expectations of being competitive on this platform. As it stands it won't last more than 2 minutes before being uninstalled from most Maemo devices. It's also uses sh1t loads of CPU when it's apparently doing nothing, which is worrying. And too much memory.
Christ, those Mozilla boys have got their work cut out.
Wrong Sync Key error
This should do it;
"Well the install worked but then I received: Wrong Sync Key error... OK WTF!
The key here is not to panic looking at my working FF4.0b8 I knew I had a key just how to find it!
What's happened is that they have changed your sync key without telling you!
Oh bad Mozilla, bad Mozilla, no biscuit for you!"
But its all in a good cause :-) Security and better features when you look in to it further...
Sync will use J-PAKE to securely transfer credentials to new clients.
Better, but still some way to go
Firefox on my Xperia is now actually quick enough that I might quit using the built-in browser altogether. Having my awesome bar/tabs/history/bookmarks/everything-ever synchronised straight to the device and back again is just too cool.
(Opera fanbois, shut your pie holes. I use Firefox on the desktop, and the awesome bar wins at everything, ever, forever. Get over it.)
Firefox on Maemo is still slow as shit, but not quite as slow as shit as it was before. The previous version was so slow it was untestable, but this one actually functions, just not nearly as quickly as MicroB. It's also sometimes leaving defunct processes behind when it exits, so I can't use it twice in a row without dropping to bash and nuking those, which is an ass. I'll get that reported as a bug.
Speed really is the major issue with these mobile versions. Hopefully the final version will be fully up to speed, because the browser's actual functionality looks to be excellent.