Mobile web browsers have always been a little disappointing, but Mozilla is making great strides into bringing its Firefox browser up to the standard of the desktop edition. The Android version of the app boasts an impressive feature set that sounds more reminiscent of desktop software, but while the browser may be impressive, there is still room for improvement.
This latest version improves page load times on 3G connections and the overall performance of web browser is also accelerated thanks to smoothing page panning and CSS3 animations. Privacy concerns can be alleviated by enabling the Do Not Track option to prevent web sites from recording information about online activity.
One of the key advantages of using Firefox over other mobile web browser is that it is so closely linked to the desktop version of the software. Settings and preferences can be easily synchronised between platforms and support for add-ons means that the capabilities of the browser can be extended and customised is a variety of ways.
But there is room for improvement. Lack of support for Flash means that that many web sites cannot be viewed in the way intended, and as there are no restriction on Flash supported like those imposed by Apple in iOS, this is a strange omission.
What's new in v46?
- Notifications about tabs opened in the background now list the URLs
- Top Sites panel now lists popular sites by default
- Previously cached pages will be displayed when offline
- Firefox will request permissions at runtime instead of installation time (Android 6.0+