Firefox 4 beta for mobile is now available for download on Android & Maemo. Firefox on mobile is a far more important development than first obvious cause Firefox brings with it a culture & a developer base for building third party addons & extensions. These extensions are certain to benefit the mobile platforms that support the Firefox browser and also could lead to a shift in mobile application development from platform specific apps to browser addons.
Today desktop / web application developers have many technology options like Java, Adobe Air, etc. to free themselves of the pain of building separate apps for different operating systems / platforms. However things are different in the mobile world where most apps are being built for a certain platform. So application developers have to spend a lot more time & energy, building distinct variants of an app for the various platforms like Android, iPhone etc.
While Firefox mobile is still very new, it is likely that in sometime down the line, Firefox will make it to enough devices for app developers to consider building an app as an addon instead of building for different mobile platform.
Mozilla says that Firefox mobile is built on the same technology platform as Firefox for the desktop and optimized for browsing on a mobile phone. Firefox beta for mobile comes with Firefox desktop features like Firefox Sync, Add-ons and the Awesome Bar.
src- mozilla blog
People often ask us why Android needs another web browser. These are a few things Firefox does that other Android browsers don’t: It lets anyone write add-ons that can customize any part of the user interface.
src: matt brubeck
Also while an Android release is no surprise, a Firefox beta for Maemo is a good sign for Maemo which as yet hasn’t had much traction among application developers.
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