Firefox 17 for Android Hits Gold, Supports ARMv6 Handsets Too

The browser also comes with enhancements for the visually impaired

By on November 20th, 2012 07:12 GMT

Owners of Android-based smartphones can now download and install a new stable flavor of the Firefox for Android mobile browser, namely version 17.

Firefox 17 for Android has been available in the beta channel for the past several weeks, with the promise of extended support for handsets running under Google’s mobile OS.

Starting with this release, the browser can be installed on a number of phones using ARMv6 processors, after being available only for ARMv7-based devices until now, and only on those running under Android 2.2 or newer.

“Firefox for Android introduces support for millions more devices, including the HTC Status, HTC ChaCha, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Motorola Fire XT and LG Optimus Q,” Mozilla notes in a recent blog post.

“At Mozilla, our mission is to bring the Web to as many people as we can. Given that roughly half of the nearly 500 million Android phones in use today run on ARMv6 architecture, this is an important step toward making the open Web free to all.”

However, this is only one of the enhancements that Firefox for Android comes to devices with, since the team of developers behind it has also been focused on providing the visually impaired with an easier browsing of the Web on a mobile phone.

Firefox for Android comes with seamless integration of TalkBack, the Android screen reader, which means that there is no need for additional configuration or installations.

Additionally, the browser comes with support for Android’s new advanced accessibility features such as Explore by Touch and Gesture Navigation. Through Explore by Touch, visually impaired users can browse the Web through the use of speech output, sounds and vibrations.

Other changes in the new release include iterable JavaScript Maps and Sets, implemented SVG FillPaint and StrokePaint, along with Sandbox attribute for iframes.

Firefox 17 for Android also fixes a series of issues previously found in the app, such as instability on Android 4.2, or a problem with text deletion, which had text deleted both in front and behind the cursor when holding backspace.

The latest flavor of Firefox for Android can be found on Softpedia on this page.

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