Mozilla unveils Firefox Mobile Browser (Fennec) alpha release for Android

Posted on August 27, 2010

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(Fierce Mobile)-Open-source software development initiative Mozilla took the wraps off the alpha release of its Firefox mobile browser (codenamed Fennec) for Android and Nokia N900 smartphones. According to Mozilla, Fennec Alpha is the first mobile browser to offer add-ons, running the same technology that powers Firefox on the desktop–built-in Firefox Sync promises seamless access to Awesome Bar browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, form-fill data and open tabs. In addition, Fennec Alpha includes Electrolysis, enabling the browser interface to run in a separate process from the one rendering web content, improving reaction to user input while pages are loading or CPU intensive JavaScript is running. Mozilla notes that Fennec’s forthcoming beta release will leverage Layers technology, bolstering performance in graphic intensive actions like scrolling, zooming, animations and video.

Last month, Apple approved Mozilla’s Firefox Home application for the iOS platform. The free Firefox Home provides iPhone users access to their Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and open tabs, securely synchronizing Firefox browser data from the desktop to the cloud to enable more efficient mobile web browsing and search. Users can view sites in Firefox Home then open them up via the iPhone’s native Safari browser; sites can also be shared using email. Mozilla previously stated it does not plan to develop a full-scale Firefox mobile browser optimized for the iPhone platform, however: “Our understanding of browsers in the iPhone App Store is that a ‘full’ web browser like Firefox that incorporates its own web rendering and JavaScript engines would be prohibited,” said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s vice president of product, in an April interview with FierceMobileContent

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