The Android browser wars continue with a significant reworking of the Firefox app. Not content to play second fiddle to Chrome Beta, Mozilla’s latest update speeds up web browsing performance and adds more features. We’ve also got Markers, a drawing app which is both pressure-sensitive and multi-touch for better control of your artwork. Finally, there’s Project 83113, a hybrid running/platformer game with a fun gesture-based control system and sparkling graphics.
Firefox update (Free)
The Firefox browser has been on Android for a while, but its latest update offers a lot of enhancements and new features, while fully shedding the ‘beta’ tag. Mozilla dropped its XUL-based interface in favor of native Java widgets. The Android rendering engine now takes better advantage of Android smartphone GPUs, too.
Generally, users should find Firefox starts up quicker and runs a lot snappier than previous beta versions. It has a fresh, new look and web browsing should be smoother now. Firefox lets you save web pages as PDFs and sync your browsing history, bookmarks, history and passwords with the desktop-based version.
While there are plenty of drawing and sketching apps on Android, few works as effectively as Markers. The app offers brushes and pens that are pressure-sensitive so you can have complete control over the thickness of lines you’re drawing. This is great if you’re you’re using your fingers and even better if you’re using a stylus (like with the Samsung Galaxy Note).
The interface is simple, allowing for multitouch drawings: two fingers draw two lines, three fingers draw three, etc. The toolbox can be made to appear or disappear with a touch, and a variety of brushes offer lots of flexibility for painting and drawing, which kids may also enjoy. Once you’ve created a masterpiece, it’s easy to share it with others.
Project 83113 (Free)
Project 83113 is a nice hybrid of endless runner and platforming that Android gamers everywhere will enjoy. This action-packed platformer features some novel swipe controls and stylish, colorful visuals with some cool effects.
You taken on the role of Project 83113, also known as ‘Belle,’ and you need to save your people who have been enslaved by robots on a distant world. The gesture-based controls are a little awkward at first, but once you’re used to them, they become fluid and intuitive. You’ll jump and dash your way to victory saving up crystals, finding weapon blueprints, and seeking out hidden items on each level.