Firefox Beta for Android offers more than just a new way to surf the web

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Firefox Beta for your Android phone is more than just a new way to search the web. It has a level of functionality far exceeding that basic web browser that comes standard on all Android phones.

For starters, the app has a feature that's called Firefox Sync, which allows you to sync your computer that's currently running Firefox with your phone. This way, you can keep tabs open and have quick access to your browser history and bookmarks, regardless of which device you're using at the moment.

The app seems to do a pretty stellar job when it comes to managing your browser's windows, too. Your phone's screen is pretty tiny, but the app is careful to allow users a smooth transition between windows via Firefox's designated window-selection screen.

Bookmarks and preferences are also easily accessed just by sliding your finger across the screen to the right or left. It's set up in such a way that you don't ever accidentally hit the wrong button, but you don't spend a whole lot of time bouncing around, either.

Unfortunately­ — while it’s well-organized, pretty and easy to use — Firefox is the not the quickest browser I've ever used. There's often a lag whenever I go to pull up a new page. The app also has a few control flaws. I noticed that when I tried to zoom in on text it was kind of a 50/50 shot when I would be able to read the text on screen.

Firefox Beta has great potential, but it's not quite perfect (yet). I'm a big fan of Mozilla, so I'm willing to wait around and see what kind of improvements these guys make. After all, “Beta” does imply this is only the first try.

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