Firefox 4 for Android Released: Gigantic App. Not Fast?

I’m still not quite sure why I need or want an alternate browser on my Android phone. Yes, Android’s browser could use a few more features. But, it is fast and works well. Mozilla finally released Firefox 4 for Android yesterday. It is available as a free app in the Android Market.

Mozilla Launches Firefox 4 for Android, Allowing Users to Take the Power and Customization of Firefox Everywhere

Here’s a couple of comments about Firefox 4 for Android based on my brief experience with it:

1. It is huge at 13.84MB. This is important because Android installs apps to system memory by default. I received low memory warnings on my Droid and Nexus One after installing Firefox 4.

2. Fortunately, Firefox 4 has an option to install to an SD card.

3. Unfortunately, unlike other Android apps that can be relocated to an SD card, Firefox only seems to change the location of its data files. The massive app itself remains in system memory according to Android applications management report.

4. This warning appeared when I ran Firefox the first time on a Motorola Droid: Firefox does not support this device and you may experience problems. This warning did not appear on the Nexus One.

5. While I did not perform any formal measurements, Firefox seemed to start up and render noticeably more slowly than Android’s native browser.

6. Firefox for Android’s advantage is its ability to install and use add-on modules. I have not tested any of these add-ons yet.