Feeds

Fennec comes to Android

The fox goes robotic

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Firefox's little cousin is now on Android, showing what an alternative browser can do for Google's platform.

Fennec is the mobile version of Firefox, the free browser from Mozilla. Fennec has been in beta for the Nokia N900 since the end of January, but now an early version has been made available for Android handsets. Though not quite ready for daily use, the build does show potential.

As the video shows Fennec will happily switch orientation and allow the user to navigate between multiple tabs, all with breathtaking slowness. There's still a lot of optimisation to be done.

But most interesting is the option to customise the experience though the addition of Add Ons - and the use of synchronised tabs, allowing continuity of browsing from desktop to mobile.

It used to be that mobile browsers competed on offering the best replication of the desktop experience, but these days it's interface elements and speed that differentiate the range of options.

Windows Mobile has been the platform of choice for those options, spurred on by the appalling pocket-IE experience browsers, such as Bolt and Skyfire, with Opera Mobile as the benchmark. But now that Windows Mobile is being killed off those browsers will be looking for somewhere to make a difference. Skyfire is already available for Symbian, while Bolt offers a Blackberry version, but we'll probably see both ported to Android soon.

Earlier this month Opera announced its Mini browser on Android, so Android users already have at least one alternative. Fennec has the distinct advantage of not needing a revenue stream - the Mozilla Foundation operates as a non-profit charity - but it's still going to need a lot of work and some huge performance improvements before it's ready to take on the opposition. ®

Update: Interested Android owners can find a download link at XDA Developers.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Will BlackBerry make a comeback with its SQUARE smartphones?
Plus PC PIMs from company formerly known as RIM
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.