Saturday, July 9, 2011


Posted by Vishnureddy at 11:18 AM

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Firefox for Android has been a fairly slow roll. The app first launched in pre-Alpha form back in May of 2010, and at the time it was enormous, bloated, slow and buggy, as one might expect from something pre-Alpha. Today, Firefox 6 Beta landed in the Android Market, and it feels impressive.
Firefox 6 Beta lands in the Android Market
Firefox hasn't slimmed down, but it has had the move to SD option for a few versions now. The big difference these days is in boot time. Firefox has always been slow to cold start on Android, but it's finally feeling like the devs are making headway in getting the browser to launch faster. But, the new Beta isn't just faster, they've also increased the image scaling quality in an effort to reduce pixelation, and it shows. If you browse sites with a lot of image posts then you'll have noticed that those posts are nearly impossible to view in any mobile browser on Android phones because the images are terribly pixelated. In Firefox 6, that problem is no more, and the pages still load quickly. Historically, the Mozilla Corporation releases a major new version of their industry-leading Firefox browser about every two year… but in 2011, the release road map is going to undergo a drastic change.
How drastic? Although Firefox 4 isn’t even out of beta yet, expect to see Firefox 7 by year’s end.
This is a radical departure, to say the least, but in many ways, in the war of numbers, it makes a lot of sense. Although Firefox 4 is easily competitive, feature-by-feature, with other browsers on the market, the likes of Internet Explorer 9, Opera 11 or Google Chrome 9 seem like they must be superior to Firefox 4. After all, they have bigger numbers attached!
The requirement of a product or brand to “fudge the numbers” to appear competitive with the competition is a pretty common occurrence in technology. Consider what Microsoft did with the Xbox 360: even though it’s only a second-generation console, the presence of the “360″ number makes the console seem like a third generation console. That’s not an accident: Microsoft was trying to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 3. Even Apple’s jumped a number just to make their product seem more advanced: the second-gen iPhone adopted branding that evoked a third-gen product with the iPhone 3G.

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