Feeds

Firefox support extended to older Android mobiles

Experimental builds for phones with ARMv6 chips

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Mozilla Foundation would like to see its Firefox browser running on more mobile phones. But since almost no handsets ship with Firefox pre-installed, that means getting the software onto more of the phones that are already out there – even if they use older hardware.

Up until this Monday, the mobile version of Firefox has required Android 2.2 and hardware that includes an ARMv7 processor. But now, however, beta versions of Firefox now include experimental support for a limited selection of ARMv6 devices.

Those requirements are considerably more lax than Google's requirements for the Android version of its Chrome browser, which requires not only an ARMv7 processor but also Android 4.0.

"Given that 55 per cent of the 133 million Android phones out there run on the ARMv6 architecture, there are a lot of new people to whom we can introduce the open Web," Mozilla's Karen Rudnitski wrote in a blog post announcing the change, adding, "but we can't support every phone all at once."

Support for ARMv6 is fairly new for Firefox. Bleeding-edge nightly builds for the older architecture have only been available since July. But Mozilla is now ready to give the browser a trial run with a wider group of users.

For now, the beta browser will run on ARMv6 devices with a clock speed of 800MHz or better and with 512MB of RAM, which includes such older but popular phones as the HTC Status, Motorola Fire XT, Motorola XT531, and Samsung Galaxy Pro GT-B7510.

Rudnitski says Mozilla is planning a "phased approach" that makes the browser available to groups of phones at a time, to see what the appropriate baseline hardware requirements for the browser might be. Phones that still aren't supported by the ARMv6 build won't be able to download it from the Google Play store.

Even on supported models, however, the browser isn't guaranteed to run flawlessly. In fact, in many cases it won't work at all. Mozilla is treating the ARMv6 launch as very much an experimental test bed, and it is calling upon potential users to not only try it, but also provide feedback.

Users who try the new beta browser are encouraged to get in touch with the Mozilla Foundation either through its beta feedback page or by joining the Firefox for ARMv6 mailing list, and also to file bug reports through the usual channels. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.