Firefox for Android pre-alpha released

Mozilla today put out a very early look at Firefox for Android. Code named “Fennec”, today’s pre-alpha release was put together by a group of Mozilla developers mainly for testing and feedback purposes.

Thus far it has only been tested on the Motorola Droid and Google Nexus One because of its requirements and early stage in development. Mozilla developer Vladimir Vukićević has compiled a list of caveats that testers should keep in mind when previewing the browser:

  • It will likely not eat your phone, but bugs might cause your phone to stop responding, requiring a reboot.
  • Memory usage of this build isn't great -- in many ways it's a debug build, and we haven't really done a lot of optimization yet.  This could cause some problems with large pages, especially on low memory devices like the Droid.
  • You'll see the app exit and relaunch on first start, as well as on add-on installs; this is a quirk of our install process, and we're working to get rid of it.
  • You can't open links from other apps using Fennec; we should have this for the next build.
  • This build requires Android 2.0 or above, and likely an OpenGL ES 2.0 capable device.

Users wishing to test it out can either download it directly from their browser at bit.ly/fennec-android or by using the QR code above. Be sure to allow non-Market app installations in Settings -> Applications -> Unknown Sources.

Testers can leave feedback at the official Fennec Pre-Alpha Google Groups landing page

 

Image credit Vladimir Vukićević

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14 Comments

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I had an early version of Fennec on my HTC Diamond, very buggy (as was expected of alpha build software). Hopefully the Android version has improved a lot

Antaris said,
I had an early version of Fennec on my HTC Diamond, very buggy (as was expected of alpha build software). Hopefully the Android version has improved a lot

Almost unusable to be more precise. I think they've given up on the Windows Mobile platform. Who knows, they might bring one in for Windows Phone 7.

Billus said,

Almost unusable to be more precise. I think they've given up on the Windows Mobile platform. Who knows, they might bring one in for Windows Phone 7.

A while ago they said they won't target winmo 7, because they need native development and winmo7 only supports development through .net and silverlight.

Just tried this on my HTC Hero (with a custom 2.1 ROM running). It's starts and then crashes. It's also around 32MB when installed!

1uk3 said,
Just tried this on my HTC Hero (with a custom 2.1 ROM running). It's starts and then crashes. It's also around 32MB when installed!

Its also a Pre-Alpha test build, and showstopper bugs are to be expected

1uk3 said,
Just tried this on my HTC Hero (with a custom 2.1 ROM running). It's starts and then crashes. It's also around 32MB when installed!

I don't know what you mean by crash but on the first load it takes awhile then restarts because it's installing extensions. Hopefully that helps.

Max2Go said,
If Opera Mini it's out for iPhone/iPod Touch why not soon we will see Fennec in to the App Store?! )

BEcause Opera Mobile isn't.

Max2Go said,
If Opera Mini it's out for iPhone/iPod Touch why not soon we will see Fennec in to the App Store?! )

Apple won't allow any javascript (or html?) engines on the iPhone except the Safari ones. The reason Opera Mini is out for the iPhone is because it's server based and the javascript engine/html renderer is on Operas remote servers not the phone. Opera Mini on the iPhone opens the door for Skyfire which is similarly server based but not for full browsers such as Opera Mobile or Firefox Mobile (Fennec).