Firefox Mobile Arrives On Nokia Smartphones

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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Mozilla has confirmed that a mobile version of its open-source web browser, Firefox, is now available for some Nokia smartphones

Mozilla has announced that Firefox Mobile is now available for the Nokia N900 and N810 smartphones.

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Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit creator of the free and open-source web browser Firefox, announced the application is now available for Nokia’s Maemo platform, a core platform for Nokia N series devices and based on open-source Linux components. Maemo 5 introduced support for Qt, a framework that offers the same application performance as native Linux applications. Beginning this week, Firefox is compatible with Nokia N810 and N900 mobile devices, as well as specific Windows Mobile 6.0 and above phones.

Firefox comes complete with features such as the “Awesome Bar,” password manager, one-touch bookmarking, location-aware browsing, and it also claims to be the first mobile web browser to offer add-ons, enabling users to customise their browser on the go. More than 40 add-ons, including AdBlock Plus, URL Fixer, TwitterBar, language translators and geo guides, let the user customise their Firefox by adding features and customisations that helps personalise the browser. Users select the settings “gear” button on the bottom right-hand side of the screen, then choose the add-ons “puzzle piece” button, and search for and install the add-ons that are most useful directly from the phone.

The Awesome Bar will display websites that a user frequently or recently has visited or bookmarked. The Awesome Bar learns as it’s used, adapting to a user’s preferences and making the browsing more personally tailored. Users can also tap the Awesome Bar to enter a URL or search term and start exploring the web. Other features include Weave Sync, which allows users to sync their Firefox tabs, history, bookmarks and passwords between the desktop and mobile device for a seamless browsing experience, tabbed browsing and safe browsing, which gives users an instant website ID and allows them to easily access and edit security settings.

Bringing Firefox to mobile devices is the next step toward fulfilling Mozilla’s mission of providing one web that everyone can access, regardless of device or location. Secure, powerful and customisable, Firefox is the most modern mobile web browser available and is optimised for a mobile experience,” Mozilla spokeswoman Erica Jostedt wrote on the company’s blog. “Key design principles are at the heart of the mobile browsing experience including minimal typing, seamless synchronisation with desktop Firefox and the ability to take your Firefox with you, to name a few.”

Jostedt also said Firefox for mobile provides a platform for developers to create rich applications, where developers can use web technologies such as HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to improve, modify and customise the browser. She also recommended users download the YouTube Enabler add-on to watch YouTube videos. “This is an exciting entrance into the mobile ecosystem and Firefox for Maemo5 is just the beginning,” she wrote.

The Nokia N900 is equiped with a 600 MHz processor and up to 1GB of application memory, a built-in 32 GB storage capacity and an external microSD card from which users can expand the storage to up to 48GB. Other features include a built-in Assisted-GPS receiver and a 5-megapixel camera.