blog post published today, Mozilla user experience designer Ian Barlow previewed the user interface their Mobile Team is in the process of building for a tablet version of Firefox.In a
Firefox for tablets, which does not yet have a release date, will be optimized to run on Honeycomb Android tablets. The browser will include features from the desktop version of Firefox such as tabs, themes and the Awesomebar, an adaptation of a feature launched with Firefox 3 that enables quick access to bookmarks and browsing history. Items synced from the desktop can also be accessed there.
Firefox has long run on Android-based smartphones, but the team is now looking to scale the UI up to the tablet form factor, adding back a few features it had to remove from the mobile version and taking the time to design a more attractive, layered interface.
Firefox For iPad? Don't Hold Your Breath
Despite being the second most popular browser on desktops, Firefox has not captured much marketshare in the mobile space, where operating systems and devices come with more stringent restrictions and other complexities.
Apple, which is expected to command the greatest percentage of the tablet market for years to come, does not allow non-WebKit browsers onto its iOS operating system. That, combined with technical restrictions on the Windows Phone and Blackberry platforms, leaves Mozilla with little choice but to focus its efforts on Android.
In addition to UI enhancements, Mozilla has been working to make its mobile and tablet browsers more responsive and faster, in response to one of the more common complaints made by users.
For a more detailed look at the upcoming tablet UI for Firefox, check out these mock-ups from Barlow's Flickr stream.