Firefox 31 For Android
Written by Ian Elliot   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Firefox 30 for Android launched last week with faster load times on 3G connections and accelerated performance thanks to smoothing page panning and CSS3 animations and two major features for developers. Firefox 31 for Android is now in beta.

As reported last week Mozilla has been working on providing more performance improvements to “native experience” for Web apps on Firefox for Android. Using APK Factory, a repackager that was introduced into Firefox 29   Firefox OS app developers can now target millions of Firefox for Android users without changing a line of their apps code. By giving Web apps native updates, native installation and native app management, developers can now provide a more familiar way for users to manage their Web apps. The APK Factory also ensures Web apps use a modern up-to-date runtime, so there is no performance degradation or compatibility issues.



The other noteworthy addition to Firefox 30 for Android is support for Firefox Hub APIs allowing add-on developers to add their own content to the Firefox for Android homepage, providing them with a large area, called a Home Panel, to encourage users to interact with their add-on. Details about building add-ons with the Home.panels API which registers a panel and the HomeProvider API to store data to display are provided documentation on MDN and there's also a collection of experimental add-ons as examples. More on Hub APIs is included in the of Firefox 31 which also has ability to re-order existing panels in about:home as a new feature.

Other features flagged as NEW in the beta release notes are: 

  • Integration of generational garbage collection

  • OdinMonkey: Use backtracking allocator for asm.js style code

  • mozilla::pkix as default certificate verifier

  • Partial implementation of the OpenType MATH table 

  • Locales added: Assamese [as], Bengali [bn-IN], Gujarati [gu-IN], Hindi [hi-IN], Kannada [kn], Maithili [mai], Malayalam [ml], Marathi [mr], Oriya [or], Panjabi [pa-IN], Tamil [ta], Telugu [te]

One noted change is the removal of the CAPS infrastructure for specifying site-specific permissions (via capability.policy.* preferences) meaning that attempts to use this functionality to grant access to the clipboard will no longer work. The sole exception is the checkloaduri permission, which may still be used as before to allow sites to load file:// URIs.

Other improvements are in common with the desktop version of Firefox 31 which were covered in Firefox 31 Beta Full Of New Developer Features. They are two HTML5 enhancements:

  • WebVTT, a format for displaying timed text tracks such as video subtitles, implemented and enabled.
  • CSS variables implemented

and four Developer enhancements:  

  • navigator.sendBeacon enabled by default
  • New Array built-in: Array.prototype.fill() 
  • New Object built-in: Object.setPrototypeOf()
  • CSP 1.1 nonce-source and hash-source enabled by default. 

Mozilla is keen for devs to test out the beta features and provide feedback using the Firefox Developer Tools ideas channel. 


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 June 2014 )