Mozilla Focuses on Native UI to Boost Speeds for Firefox on Android

Lyla Katz

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Mozilla is working on a change to the Android version of Firefox that it says will significantly boost the browser’s speed.

Future versions of Firefox for Android will now be built with a native user interface rather than the XUL implementation it’s been using until now.

Mozilla expects the native user interface to use less memory, offer better responsiveness and be much faster than the XUL-based version.

XUL or XML User Interface Language is an XML-based markup language developed my Mozilla.

“A native UI can be presented much faster than a XUL based UI, since it can happen in parallel with Gecko startup,” said Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla's director of Firefox engineering.

Nightingale's team is currently working with the add-on software development kit  team to figure out the best way to support extensions in light of the new interface, he noted, as well as making plans to ensure that versions of the software for other languages don't get left behind, PCMag reported.

Mozilla plans to ship Firefox 8 and 9 with the current XUL-based user interface, including the version for tablets, Nightingale said.