I started out with Linux in 1997, and at that time Mosaic was looking a bit old-hat, and Netscape Navigator was the app that had the most use (along with GIMP). After moving – over the years – to Mozilla, and later to Firebird (quickly rebranded to Firefox), this has always been my browser of choice.
With Android, I wish I could say the same… My first ‘Droid ‘smartphone’ suffered from ‘not available for your platform‘ when attempting Firefox installs, and later devices installed OK, but were incredibly sluggish..
Now, I get more problems, with lack of proper Flash support.. Of course, this is mainly due to Adobe abandoning Linux-based systems, but at least Fedora keeps a working Flash plugin version up-to-date.. For Android, the Firefox user is supposed to be able to navigate to an obscure Adobe ‘obsolete versions‘ download location, and install manually. Not the sort of task the ‘average user’ would feel confident performing.. With later Android versions, I found that this plugin just crashes Firefox..
I have been forced to use Chrome on Android, as it – to use that awful phrase – ‘just works straight out of the box’… I have tried other browsers, such as Opera and Dolphin, but found that Chrome was the best of a mediocre bunch..
Of course, everyone is supposed to be using HTML5 now, but many of the major websites still aren’t.
When all websites do use HTML5, Firefox on Android will probably be great, but until that time, I need a browser that works now!
Robert Gadsdon October 9, 2013.