Sunday, February 03, 2008

The New Browser War: Mobile Firefox vs. Opera Mini

Last October, Mozilla announced that they were working on a mobile version of the Firefox browser. As it turns out, they were working on two versions: one designed for touchscreen devices like the iPhone and another for traditional phones. Now Mozilla has finally given us a glimpse of their designs by posting the plans, mockups, and details of these two upcoming mobile browsers on the Mozilla wiki.

The non-touchscreen browser introduces a virtual cursor that is controlled with the keyboard navigational keys. Using short presses (clicks) on the directional pad's left key will quickly navigate through clickable elements. Longer presses on the left key will begin smooth scrolling. When scrolling, after a set amount of time the page will gradually zoom out to give you a view of the entire layout which will allow for faster scrolling. When you stop pressing the directional pad button, the browser will gradually zoom back in on the element that the cursor is positioned over.

The right key of the directional pad will bring up a menu that provides access to navigation functionality, including items like the Address Bar, Refresh, Back, History, Bookmarks, Tabs, Bookmark This, and Quit. read more