Feeds

Fennec comes to Android

The fox goes robotic

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.