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.