Mobile Firefox Skips Flash In Favor Of HTML5

A week after launching the official release of Firefox 4, Mozilla is following up today with Mobile Firefox for Android and Maemo phones (for all twelve of you Maemo fans out there). For Android, the browser is now available on the Android Market,.

The Android browser fairly rocks. It almost makes me want to switch to Android. The mobile browser syncs all of your bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and even open tabs with your Firefox browser on your desktop. So you can pick up browsing where you left off when you leave your desk. This syncing is huge. The browser won’t be availabl for the iPhoen anytime soon because of restrictions Apple places on browsing apps—for one thing, it doesn’t use Webkit. (But Mozilla does offer an iPhone app that syncs mobile Safari with your Firefox desktop browser).

One thing Firefox mobile doesn’t have is support for Flash, even though Android has a big partnership with Adobe to make Flash work on mobile. I spoke with some folks from Mozilla yesterday about this topic. Eventually, Firefox mobile will support Flash, but it is just not there yet in terms of responsiveness. The focus right now is on HTML5 and CSS. It is amazing some of the 3D effects, animations, video, and other in-browser graphics you can now get with HTML5. Check out some of the demos here after you download Firefox to your phone.

Some other features I really like in the browser is the way it handles tabbed browsing, its snapping zoom, and the Awesome Screen. Your tabs are always available in a thin column on the left which can be accessed with a simple swipe. If you are on a webpage that is not optimized for a mobile device, you can snap the zoom with a double tap to align with a column or box on the page and then scroll up and down normally. The Awesome Screen is the mobile version of the Awesome Bar on FireFox desktop. As you type, it makes suggestions based on your previous browsing history, bookmarks, and open tabs.