FireFox RC for Android Released

Yesterday, I installed the release candidate(RC) of FireFox for Android. I’ve been using it for almost a day already and I have to say it’s a big improvement from the previous beta version (which I installed and then removed almost immediately). I’m still evaluating it before I decide if I will make this as my primary browser. Here’s what I’ve seen so far.

Size
The application size is around 13.4 MB and can be moved to the SD Card. Like other apps, the cache is saved on the phone.

Caching
It’s way better than Opera, that’s for sure. It still uses cache but the size is just comparable to the stock Android browser. I’ve visited the usual sites I go to(techcrunch, arstechnica, etc) and the cache is still less than 1MB. In Opera, I would have at least 10MB by now.

Page Rendering
FireFox has a better javascript engine than the stock browser so the pages displays properly. The output is no different from Safari on iPhone4. They are beautiful.

Speed
I find it just comparable to the stock browser which is to say slow. But we all know that speed is affected by many factors especially if you are on 3G. So I don’t really

What annoys me here is the slow start up. I always close the browser after using it. So when I open it up again, it will take several seconds to completely launch the app (you’ll be shown the beautiful startup screen). I don’t want to leave apps open to save battery. I hope FireFox fix it in the final version.

Tabs
I love the way they implemented the tab. In Dolphin, you see the tabs on top of the screen. That’s fine if you have a big screen. But for my HTC Desire, I need all the screen real estate I can get. To be fair, Opera and Android browser have done a good job too. But I find the FireFox implementation slicker. All you have to do is swipe the screen from left to right and the tabs will be displayed. No more pressing of the button.

Flash
I don’t have Flash installed on my phone. I don’t miss the videos and ads so it’s not a problem for me. I heard Flash is not supported yet for this version(release candidate) and I think the thing will happen for at least version 1.0.

That’s it for now.

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