SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has announced support for ARMv6 processors with its Firefox for Android web browser.
Mozilla's Firefox for Android web browser had previously supported handsets that used chips based on the ARMv7 architecture and ran Android 2.2 or later. Now the firm has relaxed its hardware requirements, allowing Android handsets based on ARMv6 chips access to the web browser.
According to Mozilla, half of the 500 million Android smartphones use ARMv6 chips, meaning that the organisation's support of the architecture will make it available to a significantly larger audience. The outfit listed a few of the devices that can now run Firefox for Android, including the HTC Status, HTC Chacha, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Motorola Fire XT and LG Optimus Q.
Mozilla promoted Firefox for Android's support of Google's Talkback screen reader and explore by touch for the visually impaired to navigate the web using speech input, sounds and vibrations. Although Mozilla didn't say why it took so long to support ARMv6, the outfit has made considerable improvements to Firefox for Android since its beta release.
Mozilla needs to overcome Google's bundled web browser and its full Chrome web browser, which also is being rapidly developed, much like its desktop counterpart. Nevertheless, Mozilla's decision to support ARMv6 with Firefox for Android should only help increase its mobile user base and web browser market share. µ