Today V3.co.uk tracked down (well, phoned) head of mobile at Mozilla Jay Sullivan, to speak about the new Firefox for mobile web browser.
Sullivan told us the browser was currently in release candidate format and was going through the necessary testing for any bugs before it could be launched - and although he apologised for the vagueness of this he did say it seemed most likely it will be launched at some point next week. Next week...isn't that Christmas? A present from Mozilla? How kind.
Whenever it is released, though, it looks as if it could be worth the wait. Screenshots seen by V3.co.uk show the browser has a nifty set of features including tabbed browsing that, instead of sitting on top of the browser, sit to the left hand side and are visible while you browse, allowing for efficient web use and easier switching between sites. No having to slide around to see what other windows you have open as you do on the iPhone.
Another interesting development offered by Mozilla is an application called Weave Sync. The app allows users to sync their desktop computer and their mobile phone device - as long as it's the Nokia N900, the only device to currently run the browser - so that, rather than having to type in all web addresses as new on the search bar, they can be imported from the desktop machine.
"People are very impatient to type in web addresses, log-in details, passwords and so forth on mobile devices," said Sullivan. "But by allowing syncing between computers and phones we can offer a far more efficient, simple browsing experience as all previous history and information can be uploaded and memorised by the device instantly."
This information is all stored in the browser's modestly named Awesome Bar that remembers all web addresses from both the phone and the computer, including closed tabs and history. This allows users to retrieve information when out and about they have already accessed on the desktop device, such as street addresses, names of restaurants or, indeed, awesome bars.
Currently the browser will only be available to download but Sullivan confirmed the company was not averse to having the browser coming pre-installed on handsets. He also said the browser would be available to Windows Mobile devices in the first quarter of 2010 and to Android devices by the middle of the year - and this time on more than one device.
Sullivan also praised the developer community that works on the open source code integral to FireFox's success and helping them compete with rivals like Apple or Microsoft. But they probably won't be getting any Christmas presents, other than the new mobile browser.
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