Firefox for Mobile beta now available

George T — January 5, 2010

I didn’t have the chance to get my hands on the new Nokia N900 for time being so I was experimenting with Firefox for mobile with its download-for-desktop version. Until a few days ago I was only able to download and play with the latest alpha version, which didn’t surprise me that much, but lately Firefox released a beta version so I thought I should give it a try. Well, the beta version is much more prettier and far more reliable than its predecessor. Except for the new polished user interface there are a few other things that actually make you smile. First and foremost the new super swipe-left-or-right navigation menu rocks.

It is a totally cool new feature and it is really-really-really fast accessible. You just swipe right to get a quick view of your browser’s tabs, or just swipe left to access some hidden buttons like the back and forth buttons, preferences and the bookmark button. I have to say that I ‘ve been using Android for a couple of years (incl. emulators and real phones) but I didn’t have that fast access to the browser’s tabs or settings and the same goes for the iPhone’s Safari browser. Although both platforms provide a quite fast access to the browser’s tabs and/or settings, none of them was as fast as the new mobile Firefox. I like this new approach of mobile browsing experience and I could probably get used to it very soon.

Furthermore, there is a zoom-when-tap-a-textfield feature where the browser zooms in the tapped input field so that you can easier check what you type (keep in mind that this very first version of Firefox for mobile is available for phones with a 800×480 pixel resolution screens which makes things a little bit crowded when it comes down to the 3.5 inch screen). And of course there is the all-time-classic double-tap-zooming.

Lastly, there couldn’t be a mobile Firefox without having mobile add-ons! There are currenlty 40 or so available add-ons. I ‘ve already tried the Mozilla Mobile Add-ons Challenge award winner, TwitterBar by Christopher Finke. Have you?