Firefox 7 Mobile

Mozilla’s mobile web browser keeps getting better. While Firefox 5 just hit the Android Market a few weeks ago, Mozilla is already working on versions 6 and 7. This week the developers released Firefox Mobile Aurora 7, which is a pre-release version of the next, next generation of the web browser and it features a couple of major improvements.

First, the company has improved memory usage in both the mobile and desktop versions of the web browser. Mozilla says desktop users should see memory improvements of up to 30 percent. The mobile browser should benefit from these improvements as well.

Aurora 7 for mobile also includes a new text selection feature which allows you to copy and paste text from a web site by long-pressing on the screen and then dragging handles to select the ext you want to copy. Tap outside of the selection to copy to your clipboard so you can paste the text into the location bar or another app.

The feature looks a lot like the text selection that’s built into Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the developers didn’t use Google’s tools to implement it and instead developed the feature from scratch (although it’s designed to look like Android’s native text selection.

Aurora 7 also includes a new Quit option which you can access by tapping the menu button and then selecting “more.” There’s saved session history for each tab so that if Firefox restores a tab it will also keep your back and forward history. The browser also now makes it easier to select your default language — although if you’ve already set your default language in Android OS to a supported language, Firefox should detect this automatically.

Firefox Mobile still isn’t the fastest mobile web browser around, and some web content renders slowly or looks a bit funny — but the browser keeps getting better and it has a couple of nice features that set it apart including the ability to sync data and even recent browser tabs with the desktop version of Firefox, support for add-ons, and the ability to save any web page as a PDF file for offline viewing or printing.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...