A week after it launched Firefox 4 for the desktop, Mozilla shipped the final version of Firefox 4 for Android.
But some users quickly complained about slow performance and the browser’s lack of Flash support.
Mozilla first pitched Firefox 4 to users last August, when it issued an alpha build of what it called “Fennec.” Later, Mozilla renamed the program to keep it in sync with its better-known desktop browser.
Firefox 4 is finally here, and its reviews are rolling in. Mozilla’s new browser is its slickest yet, and adds new features like Tab Groups and Do Not Track. But with the recent launches of Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome 10, do critics think the latest version of Firefox can handle the competition? Let’s check out highlights of the reviews.
Firefox 4 got off to a strong start today, with 1 million copies of the new browser downloaded in the first three hours.
If it keeps up the early pace, Firefox 4 will easily beat Microsoft’s claim that users downloaded 2.4 million copies of its Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) in the first 24 hours of availability last week.
Although Firefox 4′s out-of-the-gate download tally was impressive, Mozilla executive Mike Beltzner said that it was behind the launch numbers of Firefox 3.6, which shipped in January 2010. During the first three hours, downloads averaged between 5,000 and 6,000 copies per minute, less than half the 12,000-per-minute pace of the previous version.
Open source web browser finishes development cycle
Mozilla on Wednesday announced it would ship the final version of Firefox 4 on March 22.
Originally scheduled to ship last November, Firefox 4 will wrap up a development cycle that started in February 2010 with several developer previews, but began in earnest last July when Mozilla released the first of what would eventually be a dozen betas.
Wednesday, Mozilla developers called the current Release Candidate, or RC build of the browser, good enough to ship as the final. Traditionally, it has run through multiple release candidates before settling on the latest as the shipping code. More than a year ago, for example, Mozilla issued two release candidates of Firefox 3.6.
Improved desktop-to-mobile synchronization and hardware acceleration powered by WebGL are the hallmarks of Mozilla’s latest Firefox 4 beta, which the company plans to release later today for desktops and mobile devices.
Firefox 4 beta 8, for Windows, Mac, and Linux, isn’t expected to make any sweeping changes to the browser, instead focusing on improving already-included features. Meanwhile, not much is known at this time about what will be included in the simultaneous release of Firefox Mobile 4 beta 3 for Android and Maemo, although CNET has been able to confirm that the update will contain improvements to the mobile sync.