Mozilla has come up with a new strategy to bring the Firefox browser on more phones: it will try to offer the browser for phones that come with earlier hardware. This is a response to the problem of not having the browser pre-loaded on new handsets shipping out today and therefore not having Firefox on as many devices as Mozilla wants.
Karen Rudnitski of Mozilla justifies the move by underscoring how “55 per cent of the 133 million Android phones out there run on the ARMv6 architecture,” thus, “there are a lot of new people to whom we can introduce the open Web.” Having said that, however, Mozilla “can’t support every phone all at once.”
Prior to this move, Firefox for Android had a requirement of at least Android 2.2 as well as an ARMv7 processor to be compatible with a device. Now, users with ARMv6 devices are invited to test Firefox Beta for Android.
Firefox Beta for Android has been equipped with various improvements in “performance, customization and security.” Those who find bugs may report these to Bugzilla, so that Mozilla may use the information to enhance the browser. They may also send their comments through a Feedback Page or via the Firefox for ARMv6 mailing list.
At present, the Firefox Beta for Android browser requires that devices have ARMv6 with a processing speed of at least 800MHz along with 512MB of RAM. This covers older phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Pro GT-B7510, Motorola Fire XT, Motorola XT531, and the HTC Status.
Mozilla’s requirement is minimal compared to that of Chrome for Android by Google Inc., which requires Android 4.0 along with ARMv7 to work on a mobile device.
Mozilla will use their findings on the release of this beta version to determine what they should designate as the baseline requirement.
The Firefox Beta for Android browser may be downloaded here.