Mozilla has announced that the first Firefox 4 beta for mobile is now available and waiting your downloading pleasure.
Built on the same technology platform as the desktop Firefox browser, the mobile beta version comes with desktop features like Firefox Sync, Add-ons and the Awesome Bar.
The folks at Mozilla say that they’ve spent a lot of time increasing the performance and responsiveness of the browser, and this has involved big architecture changes to ‘Electrolysis and Layers’.
We thought Electrolysis was something to do with getting rid of hairy legs – a function we weren’t expecting in Firefox – so here’s Mozilla to explain what they’re on about:
Our alpha contained Electrolysis which allowed the browser interface to run in a separate process from the one rendering Web content, resulting in a much more responsive browser. This beta brings the Layers pieces which improve overall performance and in graphics areas such as scrolling, zooming and animations. For more technical details, see Mozilla mobile engineer Matt Brubeck’s blog.
The Firefox Sync feature lets users take their browsing history, bookmarks, tabs, passwords and form-fill data with them, and data is encrypted end-to-end between computers.
Other features include pinch-to-zoom on multitouch-capable devices, and the Awesome Screen, which provides access to recent history, bookmarks and tabs just by tapping in the Awesome Bar.
You can download both Android and Maemo betas from here, but Android users be warned – it’s a hefty 11MB download.