Monday, October 20th, 2008

Fennec (Mobile Firefox) Alpha 1 Released

Category: Browsers, Mobile

Mark Finkle has announced the first alpha release of Mozilla’s mobile web browser, Fennec. While there was some discussion in recent days of progress on a Windows Mobile version, this release runs on the Nokia N800 and N810 only.

However, Mozilla has also provided an emulator for folks to run Fennec on their desktop machine and are soliciting feedback from the community especially on the browser UI but also on other aspects of the browser as well.

Fennec (Mobile Firefox) has reached milestone 9, which is also our first alpha! We’re calling this release the User Experience alpha.

As with the previous milestones, M9 is targeted at the Nokia N800/N810 (Maemo) Internet tablet. Yes, we have made great progress on Windows Mobile, but no milestone releases yet. However, in addition to the native Maemo release, we are also releasing desktop versions of Fennec. That’s right, you can install Fennec on your Windows, OS X or Linux desktop too! We want you to be able to experiment, provide feedback, write add-ons and generally get involved with the Mozilla Mobile project, even if you don’t have a device.

There’s also a video walkthrough:

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 9:46 am

4 rating from 23 votes


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Anyone checked to see which JS libraries work on it?

Comment by Nosredna — October 20, 2008

have you seen the scrolling speed of this thing?

Compare that with the fluency of the iPhone (or, god forbid, even Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile).

Even if it looks great. Even if it introduces new and intelligent user interaction models. Something as slow as this is never to get users. Never.


Comment by pilif — October 20, 2008

Its Alpha 1 and people already complaining……

Comment by TNO — October 20, 2008

@pilif, From the Fennec website (linked above)

# user interface intermittently unresponsive during page load
# page loading takes a long time to complete for many sites

Way to bash on Alpha 1 software.

Comment by tj111 — October 20, 2008

that’s too laggy..

Comment by zero0x — October 20, 2008

I think this is cool, though it is not very hard to see that their “star logo designer” left for Opera a month ago… ;)

Comment by ThomasHansen — October 20, 2008

It’s an alpha, basically a proof of concept.

Anyway, you really should avoid the term “Emulator” here. Fennec/Desktop is no more an emulator for Fennec/Mobile than Firefox/Mac is an emulator for Firefox/Windows. Fennec is built on the cross-platform XULRunner runtime and is platform agnostic as long as XULRunner is available for that platform. XULRunner/mobile is a port of XULRunner/desktop but then the relationship is still the wrong way around. Basically, it’s just another package containing a different pre-compiled runtime, but that’s about it.

Comment by Hans Schmucker — October 20, 2008

I like the “scroll sideways” concept of the UI. There are the obvious alpha build gotcha’s ofcourse, like double-tap not zooming correctly and so on, but the only thing that seems awkward by design is that when a page is zoomed in, you have to drag sideways quite a lot just to navigate back to the previous page. Not good for flow.

Comment by Joeri — October 21, 2008

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