August 30, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
When I interviewed the head of Mozilla’s mobile division, I asked why there wasn’t yet a Firefox Honeycomb-tablet version. Thomas Arend assured me that it would arrive eventually, but noted that the company was making Firefox as fast and light as possible. He then added that the larger screen size and version advancements would allow Mozilla to “do some special things in our next version.”
Mozilla has given the first preview of those special things on tap, highlighting the upcoming tablet version in a blog post. Firefox for Honeycomb follows the minimalist influence of Android 3.0, but it uses a white and black theme rather than a dark grey and silver line. From the mock-ups shown, this will look especially nice when browsing websites with white backgrounds.
There will be many similarities between Firefox for phones and tablets, namely the scripting and extension support that makes the browser appealing. The stark difference between the two will be in design. Mozilla notes that it “tucked away all of our UI elements” in the phone version because screen size was at a premium. It made more sense to hide tabs and menus in order to provide more reading room. The large screens on tablets means Firefox for Honeycomb will be able to show tabs and navigation elements more readily.
The Awesomebar will also be present, which should turn the address bar into a quick way to perform a query on a designated search engine or access history and bookmarks. In fact, the entire top menu should be pretty awesome based on the concepts and design choices discussed in Mozilla’s Brian Dils’ blog post about designing for tablets. Get more information on the Firefox for tablets project here, and see a gallery of screenshots here.