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Firefox 'Fennec' due in days

Firefox 'Fennec' due in days

Mozilla's long-awaited 'Fennec' mobile Firefox build is due in Release Candidate form any day now - for Maemo devices, anyway.

The long-awaited version of Firefox for portable devices may be heading towards Release Candidate status in the next few days - although you'll need a Maemo device to run it.

As reported over on IT Pro, a spokesman from the Mozilla Foundation has stated that the smartphone-optimised version of Firefox - currently codenamed Fennec -is due in "a matter of days rather than weeks or months."

Sadly for those looking to have a play with the browser - which promises to bring most of the desktop features across to mobile platforms, including support for extensions and HTML 5 rendering - the initial release will require a smartphone running the current version of Maemo Linux, which limits it to Nokia's flagship N900 - a device which hasn't actually been released yet.

Although compatibility has yet to be confirmed, the release candidate of Fennec should also work with Nokia's prior N810 Internet Tablet, which uses a similar release of Maemo Linux. Sadly - and as the name suggests - the N810 does not feature any 'phone capabilities, which does mean users wanting to play with Fennec as soon as it is released will need to carry two devices around with them.

Despite this restriction - which is simply an artifact of the use of the Maemo platform to develop the browser - the launch of Fennec should cause stirs in a relatively stagnant mobile browsing market - and more so when it spreads to other smartphone platforms including Google's Android early next year.

For now, if you want to play with a modern browser that syncs with your desktop but don't have an N900 or N810, you might want to check out Opera Mini or its big brother Opera Mobile.

Any Maemo users looking forward to getting their hands on Fennec, or will it remain a toy until it's ported to a more popular smartphone platform? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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Gunsmith 23rd December 2009, 15:35 Quote
i cannot wait for this, the standard browser in the hero is ok but nothing special.

does anyoine know if this will support current FF plugins?
Skiddywinks 23rd December 2009, 15:48 Quote
Do want on Blackberry.
dire_wolf 23rd December 2009, 16:11 Quote
I've been running the beta on my toshiba tg01 for a few weeks, it's very nice. Can't wait for a final release on winmo, the beta is much better than IE/Opera
raafe 23rd December 2009, 16:21 Quote
Been running the beta on my n900 and it's fantastic, although the maemo browser is also fantastic and is based on firefox anyway (i think)

Also the n900 has been avalible on contract with vodafone and pay as you go on the nokia site for a while now

http://www.nokiaretail.co.uk/Brands/Nokia/Nseries-Multimedia-Phones/sb489/p26078.htm#ctl00_content_n97_wrapper
Cupboard 23rd December 2009, 17:27 Quote
Looking forward to this on WinMo... had a go with an very early beta which was rubbish - it loaded something but I have no idea what and wasn't a web page at all.

It will have to be good to beat Opera though.
Gareth Halfacree 23rd December 2009, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by raafe
Also the n900 has been avalible on contract with vodafone and pay as you go on the nokia site for a while now
Huh - they snuck that out sans fanfare. I was in two minds as to whether I should get the N900 or the Motorola Milestone, and ended up with the Milestone as I didn't think the N900 was available yet.
SBS 24th December 2009, 01:00 Quote
The final nail in the coffin of Opera?
legoman666 24th December 2009, 16:59 Quote
Not to excited about it. The default browser on the N900 is firefox based already and is more than adequate. It has flash, javascript, and firefox addons can be ported to it easily (I have adblock plus and greasemonkey installed). I tried the Fennec beta on the n810 and it was unbelievably slow, but I imagine it has changed since then.
keir 29th December 2009, 09:51 Quote
AFAIK This is already on the N900 anyway.
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