Right on the heels of Monday’s release of Firefox 9.0 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (and the renewal of its search deal with Google), the Mozilla team announced Wednesday in a blog post an update to Firefox for Android.
Built on the same rendering engine as Firefox for desktop computers, mobile Firefox is now finally optimized for Android tablets. The app features full screen portrait browsing with tabs to take full advantage of a larger canvas on tablets. Full screen view also lets users swipe to the to reveal a panel with handy thumbnails of open tabs.
This release also supports Android’s Action bar for quick access to back, forward and bookmark buttons, in addition to preferences, add-ons (more than 160 add-ons are already available for Firefox mobile), downloads and other frequently used options. Firefox 9.0 for Android also sports an improved HTML5 support with HTML5 Form Validation API and HTML5 Input Tag for Camera Access. Read below for release notes. Firefox for Android is a free download from Android Market, so grab it now.
According to the release notes by Mozilla, Firefox 9.0 for Android features the following changes:
New Look for Tablets
Firefox has a new experience for tablets that leverages the large screen size and makes mobile Web browsing more intuitive. Popular Firefox features like tabs and the Awesome Screen are optimized for tablets.
Full-Screen Portrait Browsing: Firefox takes advantage of large tablet screens so you can use the full screen to browse the Internet, even in portrait mode. Tabs are listed in a top left menu and easily hide when you do not need them
Tab Optimization: Tabs are shown as thumbnails in the left panel of Firefox, allowing you to easily switch between tabs while still viewing full websites on the right. You can swipe to the left to hide tabs for a full screen view
New Action Bar with Quick Access Buttons: You can access Firefox Preferences, Add-ons, downloads and more in the new Action Bar menu (next to the Awesome Bar). The Action Bar adds back, forward and bookmark buttons for easy access
HTML5 Input Tag for Camera Access: Developers can build mobile websites and Web apps that allow you to use the camera on an Android phone or tablet to take pictures, scan bar codes and more without leaving Firefox
HTML5 Form Validation: Firefox supports the HTML5 Form Validation API which automatically validates website form fields like numbers, emails and URLs without developers needing to write a custom code or use a third-party library