Jun 15th, 2008

With faster data connections and more robust hardware/software, mobile web browsing capabilities should improve drastically in the new era of wireless. Firefox will soon usher in the new era with a fantastic mobile browser that Mozilla’s Head of User Experience, Aza Raskin, provided a demo for:

Nothing short of amazing. The integration of tabs and navigation within the contsraints of limited mobile screen real estate is a huge step forward in building an experience specifically for mobile.

Keep in mind that this represents, “a possible direction,” and that, “this isn’t necessarily the exact way we’re going to go with mobile. It might look entirely different.” But they would only make it “different” to improve it further. And as it stands, this browser already kicks butt.

So will you be able to have Firefox on your Android phone? Of course. And for the iPhone-wielding readers out there? Tough luck:

For the iPhone, Apple’s licence can not install software to have an interpreted language. But Firefox includes JavaScript, which makes it legally impossible to carry on the iPhone….For Android, Webkit is integrated into the OS, and only Java applications can run. And Firefox is not written in Java. So that’s why [Fennec will not run on Android]. However, in both cases, things may change in future, but it does not depend on Mozilla.

That’s not to say Apple won’t somehow make some accommodations, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see them pushing forcing their Safari browser on users. Piece by piece, we’re starting to see the flexibility of Android in relation to competing systems where user choice is restricted and limited.

Firefox, owned by Mozilla, is currently the main source of browser innovation. Slowly but surely, more and more computer users are adopting Firefox as their default browser in favor of the majority used Internet Explorer. Since the mobile web world is so young, it’d be difficult to say any one browser is the “default” or “favorite”. But, it looks like Firefox is on track to reach that status.

[Via CNET]