The most disappointing fact about mobile version of Firefox is its support for limited number of handsets. Firefox on Android currently supports only ARMv7 platform, which means around 58% Android users even don’t have a compatible device for Firefox. This is a major reason, apart from the performance and other issues, that Firefox Mobile has so small userbase.
Mozilla has addressed this issue now and support for ARMv6-based handsets is coming soon. Mozilla’s Ted Mielczarek explains in his blog post, “Currently the builds we’re producing only run on processors that support ARMv7. This is partially because we’ve been working on performance for quite a while, and it’s much harder to get acceptable performance on a slower processor.”. Mielczarek adds that Mozilla team has a greater insight about the Android platform now. Various fixes and improvements are on the way to optimize the build process for ARMv6 platform.
(Image via twitter)
Firefox is the third most popular browser on desktop platform, but it is not even in top ten browsers on mobile platform. With the above move of supporting older (and popular) platforms, Firefox would have the opportunity to attract more users.
Just to remind you, Google has released Chrome for Android (beta) recently which supports Android 4.0+ platform only.
Update: Preview build released