Firefox Mobile has been pretty great to me so far, and I'm sure it has been the same for the 8 million plus users who have downloaded it. While it's not moving from Android anytime soon, it would be good to know where the platform is heading in the future.
Chris Lord, one of the developers for Firefox Mobile, updated his blog today to give us a look as to what he and Firefox mobile team is working on now. The major news is that the team is completely rewriting the Android version of Firefox. This is because Firefox is now a "native" Android app instead of an XUL app. One of the key advantages to this is that the app will start up much faster now.
They are completely changing the platform as well. This means switching to a multi-threaded application model and switching from a Java-based view compositor to a native-code off-main-thread-compositor. This allows them to directly composite the layers that make up a page on the platform.
The team is currently now working on fixing the bugs present in the mobile version and hoping to get that all sorted out as soon as they can. Once they do get the new version up and running, users can expect "smooth, 60FPS updates, excellent interactive performance, excellent Web standards support and a polished native feeling application."
Coincidentally, Chris Lord and Lucas Rocha of the Firefox Mobile Team were at FOSDEM last month to talk about the very same thing - The State of Firefox Mobile. While there is not video of the talk, they have uploaded the slides and speaker notes of the talk to give you a better idea of what the future holds for the platform.
The plan was to have the new version of Firefox Mobile ready when Firefox 11 launched. Unfortunately, they have missed that mark as Firefox 11 launched last week. Now we just wait for the new version to be ready when it's ready.