Firefox for Android comes to low-end Android handsets

Firefox extends support for lowend handsets

The fact that open source software are more beneficial for society at large has been justified once again as Firefox for Android extends its support for low-end Android Handsets specifically based on ARMv6 architecture. Mozilla Firefox for Android will now be available for millions of ARMV6 based Android handsets most notably HTC Status, HTC Chacha, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Motorola Fire XT and LGOptimus Q.

Firefox extends support for lowend handsets

Previously Mozilla’s Firefox for Android was supported on handsets that used chips based on the ARMv7 architecture and ran Android 2.2 or above. That is to say Firefox was only limited to high-end modern Android handsets. The good news is that Mozilla has loosened on its hardware requirements, supporting half of the 500 million Android smartphones running ARMv6 chips. This is a significant leap forward as the browser will be now accessible to considerably larger audience.

The new hardware requirements to run Firefox for Android on ARMv6 based architecture are:

  • 800 MHz processor
  • Minimum 512 MB RAM.

The upgrade also introduces the integration with Google’s TalkBack and Explore by Touch  (new features in Android JellyBean) for reading text on the screen for the visually impaired using speech input, sounds and vibrations. Also Firefox for Android adds a hardware and software decoder support for h.264 video on Android 4/4.1, Initial web app support and JavaScript Maps. Furthermore the text deletion issue has been solved.

The newly extended support for millions of more Android handsets will significantly give boost to the browser on mobile platform as well as on desktop (thanks to the sync feature). The support is truly welcomed in a browser world that seems to be overwhelmed by Google’s Chrome leading on desktop and mobile platform. Get your Firefox for Android.

A complete list of devices running on ARMv6 devices can be found here.