Test builds of Firefox 5, Firefox 6 for Android now available


Mozilla has long offered users and developers a chance to try out early builds of its desktop Firefox web browser before they were thoroughly tested and deemed ready for the public. Now Mozilla has also launched Aurora and Nightly channels for Firefox Mobile, allowing Android users to test out early versions of Firefox 5 and Firefox 6.

The Aurora channel currently lets you preview Firefox 5 on an Android device. It’s not as stable as the Firefox 4 web browser which is currently available for download from the Android Market, but it gives you a look at where Mozilla is going with the next version of Firefox.

If you install the Aurora build you’ll be prompted to update the browser about once a day as Mozilla pushes new features and bug fixes.

Mozilla is also now offering a Nightly build of the browser, which is even less stable — but which shows what Firefox 6 for Android may look like. This build is for people who want to test the bleeding edge features, or check to see if their Firefox add-ons will support upcoming versions of the web browser.

Firefox 6 Nightly will also update about once each day.

Honestly, at this point you won’t see much difference between the Aurora, Nightly, and stable channels. They all look pretty much like Firefox 4 at the moment. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The browser offers speedy page rendering, smooth zooming and scrolling, and support for add-ons, among other things. But as developers continue working on new features, they’ll show up first in the Aurora and Nightly builds.

You can install the new test versions of Firefox without uninstalling Firefox 4. All three can co-exist on your Android device and each will have its own set of data, which means you can uninstall one without affecting the others.

You can download each version of Firefox for ANdroid from the following links:

via Mark Finkle

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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