Firefox's Fennec trots onto Windows Mobile
Just without actual functionality. But hey!
Fennec, the mobile version of the Firefox browser from Mozilla, has reached a milestone release with a version for the HTC Touch Pro, though initial reports seem to indicate it lacks key functionality.
The milestone release is intended for Windows Mobile devices with VGA screens, though the Fennec blog mentions the HTC Touch Pro specifically. Readers of WMExperts are apparently unable to get the browser to load so much as a static HTML page, belying claims that the browser is largely functional.
The release does lack an update mechanism, and plug-ins aren't supported as yet, along with soft keyboards - so Touch users need to pull out their sliding keyboard to enter a URL. Lacking a handy HTC Touch we've not been able to verify the functionality, but the team promises the UI is working properly and most pages should be rendering accurately.
While the desktop browsing market is pretty much sewn up, with Firefox chewing away at the IE/Safari duopoly, on mobiles things are a lot more fluid. Opera already offers a remarkable browsing experience for free, while the Iris browser offers Windows Mobile users an alternative and Microsoft seems to have given up on mobile browsing completely, for the moment at least.
Safari underlies the browsing experience on top-end Nokias, but the iPhone offers an unparalleled browsing experience - as long as you've got two hands free.
With such an open playing field Fennec has a real chance of finding itself as the default browser, embedded in devices at manufacture, something of which its bigger brother can only dream. ®
I use a Touch Diamond (non-pro), and have got several browsers on it - horses for courses as it were.
The bundled Pocket IE is fast and quite frugal on resources. It's good for light browsing, downloading a document etc.
Opera Mobile 9.5 is very good for everything else, except it can consume quite a bit of RAM on occasion. It doesn't feel as fast as Safari on iphone but that's due to the way it renders the pages, which it does quite cleanly. It can also do "save link as.." (even having a seperate downloads tab) as well as being very clever in reflowing pages when needed.
Iris Browser looks good, quite functional and speedy. I don't use it as much, but is quite good.
I only use Opera Mini when a website is too laggy/problematic. The proxy thing does wonders. But because it is not a native app it's a small hassle to go through the JBlend.
I had tried the MiniMo. It was a hog of a thing, lasted all of 15 minutes on my device, five of which was probably waiting for it to boot up.
Firefox 3 is already quite a resource hog on the desktop, fortunately my deskside can take it. Its strength is also its weakness, namely the extensions. It needs quite a few to reach what Opera already has well integrated. I've switched to Opera on my Acer Aspire One, it's a lot zippier this way.
If Fennec to gain any foothold in the pocketable stage, it needs a core much leaner than its desktop counterpart.
Browser wars Part 2?
Well I have a Touch Pro. And since everyone is dying for my opinions here they are:
1) Internet Explorer. Is a fair browser. 4 generations ahead of Palm's pitiful Blazer. But that's sort of like the fat guy from the local pub winning a gold in the special olympics. Still it does a reasonable job at setting where the bar should be.
2) Sky Fire. A great idea with some of the worst user interface problems I've ever seen. What it will zoom and how much is a complete mystery from page to page. Ultimately I hear it WILL play your favorite flash. So if that is how you define success vs failure I guess it's good. Try to read many web pages with it and you'll go blind (or perhaps I am already?)
3) Opera Mini. Near utter Shite. It probably isn't as good as Blazer. IF it doesn't crash it may render things Blazer won't. But that doesn't matter because it is going to crash in the next 5 seconds..... See there it goes again.
4) Opera Mobile. This is what a mobile browser should be. Rather dreadful and largely undocumented settings page. But "mostly" you don't need to mess with it. Browser is in ACTIVE development and although I haven't installed the latest builds it seems uncontested to take over at least windows mobile based devices. Actually, for most people it probably already has.
5) Firefox (fennec) I second (third?) this is a STUPID name. THANKS for the explanation. At least now I know it's a word. All it made me think of was some physics lab: Feme or some such. As for the browser, being a hard core firefox person I have been hoping from foot to foot to try this out. However, the cab file flat refuses to install. I'm not sure how they could do worse than that. I can't imagine why my unflashed Touch Pro would have problems with it. Seems like a remarkably weak first effort. They are already VERY late to the party. They may not catch up with Opera. Having a cab file on the internet that doesn't even install certainly doesn't close the gap any.
any other out there that done run an MS OS? 480x640 is nice I bet