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Dec
27

Firefox for Android tablets: a new visual experience


Firefox mobile tablet portrait

The latest version of Firefox brings an improved visual experience to Android tablet users by taking advantage of the generous screens these devices provide.

Tabs

The biggest change is related to tabs and how you interact with them. The experience is different in portrait and landscape mode. In portrait mode, you can access the open tabs by taping to top-left corner button. You'll get a drop-down list of the open pages from which you can switch to any of them, close any of them or restore closed ones.

In landscape mode, you get a scrollable vertical strip with beautiful tab previews. It makes browsing with multiple tabs very pleasant and straightforward. Of course, a single left swipe stands between you and fullscreen browsing glory.

Firefox mobile tablet landscape

The action bar

Another new feature is the all-new action bar. It provides the basic buttons for all your browsing needs: back, forward and bookmark buttons as well as quick access to preferences, addons and downloads.

Under the hood

Firefox provides the means for developers to build webapps that can take advantage of the device's built in camera using the HTML5 Input Tag for Camera Access. Also, another nice goodie is support for HTML5 form validation. What this means for developers is that they can do basic (email, URL, numeric etc) field validations without additional code.

While mobile Firefox always had a great interface even on cramped phone screens and brought a few UI features that competing browsers were quick to adopt, it would be great to also see significant improvements in the performance department as the browser could use a little bit more responsiveness if it hopes to replace webkit-based alternatives like Dolphin or even the default browser.