Mozilla has just released Firefox 17 for Android. With this release, Mozilla is finally bringing support for ARMv6-based Android handsets which was pending for long. Mozilla wanted to ensure its performance and stability before releasing, and that’s why its release was postponed last time. The beta and other pre-release builds of Firefox for Android have been supporting ARMv6 platform for long, and now users are finally able to install and use Firefox for Android on their ARMv6-based devices.
Unfortunately, some users may fail to enjoy the Mozilla’s browser, as the Firefox 17 requires minimum 512MB RAM and 800MHz CPU. Though this requirement is fulfilled by many popular handsets like HTC ChaCha and LG Optimus Q. Mozilla developers are working on “Project 256meg” with goal to reduce the minimum hardware requirement.
Most of the ARMv6 devices have low-configured hardware with older versions of Android. This limits their choice for an alternate browser as Chrome, which is the best IMHO, is not available for them. If Firefox improves its performance, it may attract a large user base. Firefox for Android offers data synchronization with desktop browser, similar to Google Chrome, which is not available with other good browsers like Dolphin and Opera. Opera syncs only bookmarks and speed dial shortcuts.
Support for H.264
Firefox for Android 4.x is going to have another important feature: hardware and software decoder support for H.264 codec. As reported earlier on BrowserFame, Mozilla now agrees that H.264 is essentially required on mobile platforms. The organization, which has always favored open standards, plans for H.264 hardware decoding in its upcoming mobile operating system, the FirefoxOS.
(via Mozilla Blog)