Mozilla updates Firefox for Android with Adobe Flash support

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Mozilla released a revamped version of its Firefox for Android browser that introduces support for third-party plugins including the Adobe Flash runtime, promising a smoother, more seamless mobile web experience.

Firefox

Firefox for Android beta supports third-party plugins.

The new Firefox for Android beta also features a native user interface that replaces the previous UI, which was based on the XML-based coding language XUL. Mozilla first announced the native UI late last year; writing in October on the mozilla.dev.platforms.mobile Google Groups forum, the company's Director of Firefox Engineering Johnathan Nightingale explained the move is designed to accelerate and improve the Android user experience.

"A native UI can be presented much faster than a XUL-based UI, since it can happen in parallel with Gecko startup," Nightingale wrote. "This means startup times in fractions of a second, versus several seconds for a XUL UI on some phones." The native UI also brings a substantial reduction in memory usage, Nightingale noted.

The latest Firefox for Android redesign additionally includes an upgraded Awesome Screen offering users more efficient access to their most-visited sites, bookmarks, history and desktop Firefox tabs. The refresh also touts a new start page highlighting Top Sites, larger fonts to improve readability and a new panning/zooming architecture for improved touch responsiveness.

Firefox for Android is available as a free download from the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront. The browser supports smartphones running Android 2.2 and up. Mozilla notes it will roll out the new features and enhancements to Android tablets in the near future.

For more:
- read this Mozilla blog entry

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