30 January 2007
The Mobile Browser War
Firefox Mobile - Sneak Preview
Well, that was a few months back, in October, we’ve wrote about quite intriguing interview with Mozilla Foundation CEO Mitchell Baker on the state of mobile web browsers and Mozilla's plans to develop a mobile version of Firefox.
After the pretty long period without any news about the upcoming Firefox mobile version few days ago I got a tip over at forum section that Mozilla going to release a glimpse, sneak preview of the browser UI probably pushed by the growing competition.
So, I decided to do a little more research over the past few days and it resulted with an interesting find.
Mozilla, company behind the open-source browser Firefox has released a sneak-peak of the interface that will drive mobile version of their popular desktop browser obviously optimized for touch-screen phones.
Early screenshots reveal the very simple and clean interface that will definitely requires further improvements and optimization but there is no doubt that will perfectly fit to upcoming S60 5th generation devices with new combined touch / non-touch interface.
Most of the available information comes from the Mozilla Wiki, where team behind the mobile version has put up bunch screenshots that shows how software is currently shaping up along with some interesting discussion related to how to move from a desktop interface to a much more compact layout.
It's clear that the team are thinking hard about changes that will really improve how the system works on mobile phones, with discussions including the irritation iPhone users feel when trying to cancel a page load and finding that the 'Cancel' button has become a 'Reload' button just before they hit it and ways to keep the Firefox Mobile browsing experience familiar for users of Firefox 3 on the desktop.
Touch vs. Classic interface
There are some contradictor information, some sources claims that new browser is designed for both classic and touch-screen phones but it seems that we’ll definitely get the two versions of the Firefox browser with completely different UI, one optimized for older non-touch lower resolution phones and another one optimized for the touch based devices.
Perhaps the most interesting inclusion in the mobile flavor of the browser is a four-tab system whereby up to four pages can be loaded at any one time, then shrunk into a split view where the user can pick which page to bring into focus.
The discussion on the Wiki between developers hints at more radical changes to come, including one suggestion that the full-screen view dispenses with a toolbar altogether and instead places an alpha-blended Firefox logo into the corner which would expand to reveal the toolbar when tapped.
It'll be interesting to see how a mobile version of the Firefox would stack up to Opera Mobile, and especially Skyfire, its cloned and improved version, or to other big players like the great Safari based browser forced by Apple and Nokia and offers the best mobile browsing experience nowadays.
From other hand the desktop version of the Firefox has lot of users and most of them are so called power users and when it comes time to choose a mobile browser they’ll probably choose the portable version of its favorite desktop solution.
Lot of questions, interesting thematic that I would like to discuss with all of you that are interesting in over at our forum section.
Continue reading at:
Wiki Mozilla, Bit-tech, Mobile Express, Readwriteweb