Mozilla has been rolling out new betas for Firefox rather quickly these days. The improvements made to Firefox 4 have been quite impressive so far, and now some of those improvements are making their way to your Maemo and Android smartphones.
Formerly known as Fennec, Firefox 4 Beta for mobile has hit the beta stage, and is apparently based on the same technologies as the desktop version, but optimized for the browser. According to Mozilla, the browser has improved responsiveness by separating the processes for page rendering and everything else in the browser, which sounds like a good idea. For the end user, Firefox 4 Beta for mobile has the touch-friendly features you’d expect like pinch-to-zoom and double-tap to zoom as well as a thumbnail view for tabbed browsing. And interesting feature is the “Awesome Screen,” which comes up by just tapping on the Awesome Bar (location bar), and populates with your recently visited sites, bookmarks, and tabs.
The mobile browser also features Firefox Sync, so you can sync your bookmarks, tabs, history, and saved log-ins, making it much easier to switch between browsing on your phone and computer. It will also feature add-ons at some point, though they don’t seem to be in this version. So, if you have a Maemo device or an Android phone running Android 2.0+, go ahead and pick it up. For those of us using iPhones we’ll have to stick with Firefox Home if we want to use Firefox Sync. BlackBerry users will have to try to forget that this beta exists, and continue lusting after the PlayBook instead of worrying about silly open-sourced software on other, possibly more popular mobile os.