Mozilla is making a significant strategy shift for mobile development. Instead of going against the grain, they’re going with the flow and going native for the Android version of Firefox.
The move toward a native implementation of Firefox for Android is likely to debut for Firefox 10. By moving to a native user interface, Mozilla developers hope to deliver a faster browser that uses less memory.
Currently Firefox for Android uses the XUL (XML User Interface Language) to power the Gecko rendering engine in Firefox.
“After substantial discussion, we have decided to build future versions of Firefox on Android with a native UI instead of the current XUL implementation,” Mozilla’s Director of Firefox, Johnathan Nightingale worte in a mailing list posting. “To be clear, we’re still building on Gecko. This change is just about the way we build our UI.”
Firefox’s use of Gecko differs from both Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari, which both use the WebKit rendering engine.