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Mozilla Takes Beta Tags Off Firefox Mobile

Gordon Kelly

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In October 2007 Mozilla confirmed it was making a version of Firefox for smartphones and now, 15 whole months later, the beta tags have finally come off...

In the lowest key launch you could imagine, Firefox Mobile 1.0 (codename Fennec) has been released. Part of the justification for this is it only runs on Maemo handsets such as the Nokia N810 and N900, but surely you'd expect a bit more fanfare than none.

Still, let's try and raise some. What excites most about the vision for Firefox Mobile is Mozilla's determination to bring an experience as close to the desktop as possible - and that means one thing: third party add-ons. The biggest draw of Firefox is being built into Firefox Mobile and while just 60 are currently compatible, that number is sure to rise rapidly over coming months.

On top of this Firefox Mobile brings a sleek, minimalist design with tabs and settings stowed away off-screen, integration of the Awesome Bar, full page rendering and zooming, plus a password manager and location aware browsing. Furthermore, Mozilla has now pulled Weave out of beta, an app which allows users to sync their bookmarks, tabs and even Awesome Bar history between phone and web over the air. Not bad for a version 1.0.

Mozilla is already working on Firefox Mobile editions for Windows Mobile and Android and though Google Chrome may fast be stealing hearts on the desktop, it looks like Firefox Mobile is capable of winning them back on our handsets.

Links:

Firefox Mobile v1.0

Weave v1.0

Simon

February 1, 2010, 3:12 pm

Excellent, i played around with Fennec on my WM and i liked the UI (even if it was really slow on my 500Mhz processor).





Oh, and your link is wrong: Wave v1.0 should be Weave v1.0

ChaosDefinesOrder

February 1, 2010, 3:14 pm

I've tried using Fennec a few times now on my N900, trying it again since the "upgrade" to 1.0 and every time I've reverted back to the built-in browser (which, incidentally, is also built on mozilla engine!) Put simply, it's way too slow to load up, and the very useful "spiral to zoom" function doesn't work, which is more useful than double-tapping for me.





There's also some pages that render better on the built-in MicroB browser than on Firefox mobile - the floating navigation/links/chat bar on Facebook, for example, stays stuck in the middle of the screen on Firefox Mobile, but behaves normally on MicroB...





Also, TR, you're typo'd the link to Weave as "Wave" at the bottom of the article!

DrDark

February 1, 2010, 7:23 pm

I must agree with ChaosDefinesOrder.





It's slower than the built in N900 Browser and requires a plugin to run YouTube(huh?!I couldn't get my heard around it when I first heard). Apart from the rotate-to-zoom, it doesn't support the volume buttons for zooming either. In fact, its main advantage is displaying tabs within itself rather than new windows on the dashboard all the time, although I suppose a proper performance test should be done between both browsers while having over 5 sites open...

ChaosDefinesOrder

February 1, 2010, 8:32 pm

oh yeah, that's another thing that's supported by the in-built browser and not Firefox Mobile: Portrait mode! By pressing Ctrl+Shift+O you turn on support, then if the keyboard is closed, it will display in portrait mode if turned. Firefox mobile doesn't support this.

DrDark

February 2, 2010, 4:45 pm

Mine's not doing the portrait mode any more for some reason. Maybe I broke it :(...

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