Mozilla outs Firefox Mobile beta

The Mozilla Foundation has announced the release of the first beta of its popular Firefox browser for mobile devices.

Firefox 4 beta 1 for mobile is available for brave-hearted Android and Maemo users to download and test right now but, as with all unfinished software, don't expect it to be bug free.

Mozilla says the new browser is built on the same foundation as its full-fat Firefox software and comes with many of the same features, including the ability to sync histories, passwords, tabs and bookmarks.

The outfit also says the beta will work with third-party add-ons but whether these will need to be tweaked to gain full functionality in the mobile version remains to be seen.

Mozilla engineer Matt Brubeck says the beta improves overall graphical performance using Electrolysis which allows the browser interface to run seperately from the rendering engine.

Mozilla's Stuart Parmenter said: "Firefox 4 Beta for mobile is significant step forward in sharing a personalised, seamless and encrypted Web experience across devices. Developers have the power to use the latest Web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to to build fast, powerful and beautiful mobile apps and add-ons that can reach millions of devices. We are excited to see the innovative and valuable mobile add-ons that developers will build for Firefox."

Demos and details are here.