Mozilla released Firefox 5.0 today. And, in the mobile world, this includes Android.
I’ve been quite critical of the off and, more recently, on Firefox mobile browser development efforts. I’ve tested every release that didn’t crash immediately and uninstalled it right after testing because there was not advantage to using Firefox instead of the device’s mobile browser. Firefox 5 for Android, however, may stay on my Nexus One a bit longer than usual. It seems to run as fast as Android Gingerbread’s native browser and has a few bells and whistles that are worth taking a longer look at. The integrated Twitter search (see screenshot below) is one of them.
The ability to install add-on modules is an attraction although I run very few on the desktop because of performance issues. Mozilla makes a big deal out of the Do Not Track privacy feature. But, this is not a feature that especially interests me.
One feature I found very useful is the unheralded “next text box” up-down arrow that shows up when filling out forms. This is especially useful when entering a username and password for a web site.
Firefox for Android weighs in at a hefty 14MB. I received a low memory warning immediately after it installed. Fortunately, it can be relocated to flash storage.