The FIrefox browser on Android phones - Is it worth using?

Discussion in 'Smartphones' started by LandSurveyor, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I have just been sticking with the default browser on my Galaxy S and am reasonably satisfied with it.

    But I periodically get emails from Firefox giving me tips on usage and such and this week's edition is telling me how easy it is to zoom in on small text on a smartphone browser.

    Before I blindly install something else on my phone, I would like to know if anybody else is using it and your thoughts on how good of a browser it is.

    At work, I use IE because it's required but at home I've used IE, Firefox and Chrome and usually have all three installed on pretty much any PC I use. All have their advantages and I really can't say one is best.
  2. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta boldly battling the XenForo-ces {squeek!!}

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    It's biggest advantage imho is -- actually was -- syncing with your desktop bookmarks. But now there other ways to do the same thing; all involve Da Cloud of course. As always, YMMV ;)
  3. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    I really love Firefox on my Nexus 7, but I should give a few caveats.

    One, I'm using Jelly Bean. I never used it on my Gingerbread phone because I don't browse much on phones. I'll test it out in a bit and give you my feedback.

    Second, I'm heavily invested in Firefox. I have used Firefox almost exclusively since 2003 when it was called Phoenix. I love the fact that I can sync bookmarks and passwords over and jump right in using it. (Chrome will do this too, I believe). I don't use Chrome on my desktop and immediately went to Firefox on my Nexus 7 and am very happy. The caveat here is really if you aren't heavily invested in Firefox, I don't know if there's anything that makes it better or worse than the other top browsers like Dolphin.

    That said' I love it. Even has the ABP (Ad Block plus) plug in.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
  4. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta boldly battling the XenForo-ces {squeek!!}

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    Yeah, I forgot to mention that my main phone browser isn't FF; for most things I use an older version of Dolphin (faster & more stable than the more recent ones I'd tried, but they may have been betas), since most of the time on my phone I don't need all my FF bookmarks (but they are there if I need them).
  5. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    After Hook recently posted in another thread similar info to what he said above, I decided to install Firefox on my E4GT. I've been using Firefox on my computers for a few years and prefer it to other browsers. On my Android devices, my default browser has always been Dolphin. I do like having Firefox on my phone because of the ease of having all my bookmarks synced, but I think my browsing experience is a bit better on Dolphin. That said, I really don't use the browser that much. I get most of my information through Google Reader and transfer articles to Pocket. Forum participation is through Tapatalk. Email access is through client software. Most of my general web browsing, then, is from my PC. And when I find something through my PC's browser that I want to spend more time with on my mobile device, I either send it to Pocket or bookmark it (which syncs with Firefox on my phone). One more comment: I've had Firefox on my phone for about a week or so, and since installing it, I don't have a default browser. I just can't choose. :rolleyes:
    Hook likes this.
  6. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I guess I'll give it a try. My Galaxy S is hardly a powerhouse but I expect it will work fine.
  7. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta boldly battling the XenForo-ces {squeek!!}

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    LS, FF runs well enough on my DroidX, fwiw. And if you don't like it or it's performance, there's always uninstall ;)
  8. SGosnell

    SGosnell Palm Pilot

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    I have Firefox, Chrome, Dolphin and Boat browsers installed on my Android devices. I find myself using Boat browser most of the time. Chrome would be a close contender if it did flash, but it doesn't. It's fine for regular browsing, though. Firefox just seems to be slower and less suited for smaller screens, and I don't use it a lot even on my Transformer, although I use it almost exclusively on my Linux PC.

    Regards,

    Stan
  9. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    For me, Firefox looks okay, and pretty good to use. I believe its gone Webkit on Android, when it used to be native. The problem even though Firefox is good, the competition is also that good. I believe the primary reason for using Firefox is to sync to your desktop Firefox browser. Even out of the bat, some of the phone default browsers are very good, especially Samsung's.

    Personally, I use either Dolphin Beta or Chrome Beta. Note I said Beta because these are much faster than the official public versions. You won't find Chrome Beta by using the Search bar in Google Play; you have to find it by typing its name on the main Google Search widget in the homescreen. It will lead you to a link inside Google Play that actually has it. The beta version of Android Chrome is 25, the official one is at 18. Dolphin Beta, you can find in Google Play in a more straightforward manner.

    IMO Dolphin Beta is the fastest Android browser there if you care about benchmarks, followed by Chrome Beta. Its not just the benchmarks, both are very smooth when it comes to scrolling and pinch to zoom.

    Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk HD
  10. weegie

    weegie Mobile Deity

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    I haven't tried it for quite a while but the last time I did I thought it was quite sluggish and I wasn't overly keen on it despite FF having been my preferred desktop browser for years because of it's add on's [def not because of speed]
    I prefer Opera as an alternative to stock browsers, like it on iOS and winmo as well.
    For android I usually end up just using the stock Samsung and HTC browsers, like DB says Samsung is fast but HTC has sped theirs up a lot over the last couple of updates and it has very good reflow,
    I probably would have tried Chrome if it weren't for getting pestered to try it all the time on Google's search engine, the Pocketnow guys were saying it's rubbish on the Nexus 4 but it seems to be pretty popular
    looking at the web browser stats
  11. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I used Opera on my old Axim because PIE was hopelessly outdated. Liked it pretty well.

    It seems from what you guys are saying that I might as well stick with the stock Samsung browser.
  12. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    You know, I haven't tried my stock Samsung browser, even though I've heard good things about it. :rolleyes: Guess to be fair, I'd better give it a go, too.
  13. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    I've been trying out the stock browser, Firefox, and Chrome, and comparing them with Dolphin. For my purposes, any one of them would work just fine. I've decided to stick with Firefox as my default browser and keep it in sync with my desktop. That's a really nice feature. In addition to AdBlock Plus, I installed Full Screen extension and really like it. Another feature I wasn't aware of was Reader Mode. Once a web page has loaded, tapping the book icon next to the URL enables Reader Mode, which removes all the fluff from a web page. I can configure font size, etc., in this mode. Apparently I can add the article to my "reading list", but I don't know what that is. :confused: Here's information about Reader Mode.
    RickAgresta and Hook like this.
  14. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Interesting. It's certainly a good feature for mobile, what with their small screens. It makes one wonder if the Firefox Mobile OS would be worth a try.
  15. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    The Samsung default browser is pretty good. With its speed and smoothness, I would consider it the best of the default browsers out there. A caveat however, the browser does not automatically reflow text around margins after zooming, sort of following iOS Safari in that regard. The typical behavior of an Android browser is to reflow text, which is also one of the reasons I prefer the Android platform. Compared to other default browsers, the Samsung one feels faster and has a higher level of HTML5 compatibility.

    The Firefox browser on Android has gone Webkit, instead of the native it used to be. As Webkit browsers tend to build off from the default browser, it performs just as you would expect from the default browser. When it was native, it took longer to boot up, but Javascript execution speeds were faster. The main reason for using Firefox would be syncing with your Firefox desktop, if you are already a Firefox user. If not, I would recommend going with the Chrome Beta, but as of few days ago, just go with main Chrome as it is now updated to version 25. Another great choice would be the Dolphin Beta. I say Beta because the Beta version appears quite faster than the regular version. For some reason, it is extraordinarily fast on the Nexus 10, but on other devices seem to be on par with Chrome 25. For now, these are the two fastest browsers on Android today in terms of Javascript, and the two highest in terms of HTML5 compatibility.
  16. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Some websites on Firefox just don't render very well. For example, Slickdeals.net forums show large fonts in some posts and very tiny fonts in others. I haven't been able to find a way to correct this, so simply go back to Dolphin when that happens.
  17. Stryker

    Stryker Mobile Evangelist

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    I've stuck with Chrome. How smooth is Firefox with regards to speed?
  18. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    I honestly haven't spent much time comparing. My impression is that it's a bit slower.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2

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