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Firefox Mobile alphas due 'in weeks'

Firefox Mobile alphas due 'in weeks'

The Firefox Mobile UI has received some major thought, and promises a full-size web experience on the small screen.

If you're salivating at the thought of getting your sticky mitts on a workable build of Mozilla's Firefox Mobile, you might not have too long to wait after all.

During an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Mozilla Foundation's chief executive officer John Lilly revealed that the much-vaunted mobile build of the popular open-source Firefox web browser could hit alpha status as soon as the end of the month.

Describing the project as an attempt to ensure that “the Web on mobile [devices] is more like the Web than what the mobile industry offers today, which is closed, separate networks and not a very good information-getting experience to the user,” Lilly revealed that the first alphas of the Firefox Mobile browser are likely to hit the 'net in “a few weeks.”

With its snazzy interface and promise of a full-scale web experience on a small-screen device, there are plenty of people looking forward to playing with early builds of Firefox Mobile – myself included. What platform the alphas will run on isn't yet known – Linux is almost certainly a given, but whether we'll see Windows Mobile or Symbian builds remains to be seen.

What is known is that iPhone users will be left out in the cold on this one. Gizmodo has it that the Mozilla Foundation will be avoiding developing for the iPhone platform owing to onerous restrictions Apple has placed on the software development kit. While that isn't likely to cause iPhone users too many tears – after all, Flash and Java support notwithstanding, the Safari browser included on the iPhone is just about the best mobile browser currently on the market – it is a stance that the Foundation may well come to regret, given the success of the platform.

Will you be keeping a beady eye on Mozilla's website for the first alpha builds of the mobile browser, or is it ground that others have already ploughed? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

7 Comments

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Gremlin 7th October 2008, 15:13 Quote
they have seriously stiff competition from Opera, be good to see how well FF does though
airchie 7th October 2008, 15:28 Quote
Looking to get a G1/iPhone/TouchHD at some point in the near future so interested to see how this shapes up against everything else that's availab;e currently. :)
Hamish 7th October 2008, 15:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlin
they have seriously stiff competition from Opera, be good to see how well FF does though

maybe, but opera seem to be incredibly slow with Opera Mobile
I got my phone about a year ago and there was talk of a new Opera Mobile beta with the zooming **** in it then, that beta only landed a couple months ago
Mozilla only started working on Mobile Firefox fairly recently
If they keep up their respective development pace Mobile FF could easily overtake Opera Mobile pretty quickly
RickDawson 7th October 2008, 18:13 Quote
I hope they do a Windows Mobile 6 version
DriftCarl 7th October 2008, 19:42 Quote
I just got a new Nokia N96 and one of the first things I installed on it was Opera Mini(along with VNC+, IRC Client, Symtorrent, iPlayer and Nimbuzz), but to be honest i would really love to use a firefox mobile version instead.
I was reading that only a linux and windows version would be made, but the market for symbian is quite big and they would be stupid to let opera take all the symbian market. I do hope that an S60 version comes out.
Spaceraver 8th October 2008, 03:18 Quote
Opera isn't that bad on wm6. At least it's better than IE mobile.
cyrilthefish 8th October 2008, 03:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceraver
Opera isn't that bad on wm6. At least it's better than IE mobile.
To be fair thats not hard

It's arguable that notepad is better at displaying html than IE Mobile ;)
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