As promised in their tweet last week, the developers of Firefox for Android released an update (v14.0) earlier today. This happened a while before the Google IO 2012 event that started couple of hours back (More on that later).
Onto Firefox now, as expected, the browser has undergone a complete overhaul in terms of the look and feel. It has a new tab design, that allows easy access to opened tabs and also gives an indication of the number of tabs open with a neat little animation. The Settings screen is similar to the previous version.
The application preserves the same kind of Sync setup that the previous version had. The account that’s selected for sync is also displayed in the Sync options in the Phone settings, which can be used to enable or disable the Firefox sync.
When the application is launched, the Bookmarks Page is opened by default, which can be used to access the tabs from other computers/devices (if the sync is setup), recommended add-ons and much more. To open a new tab, the ‘+’ icon at the right top of the screen can be pressed which then opens up the search/url bar with a list of bookmarks, top sites and history at the bottom. Once a tab is opened, the ‘+’ icon at the right top of the screen changes to display the number of tabs opened. Pressing on the number brings down the list of tabs opened with previews of the Web pages opened on each. Each tab can be closed by pressing the ‘X’ mark on the left of the tab.
A feature that’s missing from the new version is the ability to reopen recently closed tabs (similar to Ctrl+Shift+T on the PC version). This was present in the previous version of the application.
Flash content get displayed well on Web pages upon request and that doesn’t really affect the way the rest of the Page is loaded. Panning and zooming is much smoother than before. During the I used the browser it performed amazing without displaying any delays or hold ups. The browser also scores a respectable 311 (+9 bonus) points on html5test.com. Updates to the app can be checked from the ‘About’ page in the settings.
And finally a few negative things about this version:
- The fonts a bit small and the home Page could have been laid out a bit better than the way it is done now.
- Though the new tab design is great, the colors used give a very flashy look to it and that sometimes makes me wish for the good ol’ white interface.
In conclusion, with the new version, Firefox isn’t just one of the best browsers for PC but also on Android as well.
Let me know your opinions and thoughts in the comments below.