Firefox Mobile Browser – Fennec

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October 20, 2008

fennec browser Mozilla, has released the alpha version of Firefox mobile web browser, codenamed Fennec. But at present, it is only available for Nokia 810 and Nokia 800 mobile phones. Mozilla is currently using these internet tablets as a platform for testing their browser publicly.  Fennec Mobile browser is also available for desktop computers running on Windows, Mac or Linux. Most of the people probably do not own Nokia 810 or Nokia 800 Internet Tablet, so they can have a taste of this browser, right on their desktop.

The user interface is elegant and is designed for touchscreen devices. It throws a full-screen display with a navigation bar at the side which comprises of history, search bookmarks and enough room for add-ons as well. At the top of the browser, you will find an address bar for entering URLs. As one begins editing the contents of the URL input box, an autocompletion window pops up which shows list of sites matching the text entered into the box. It also offers buttons that will instantly search the web with Google or other sites with the entered text as the query string. Users can control the zoom level of the pages by pressing the plus or minus buttons on the device.

Fennec mobile browser has dedicated buttons that make your browsing experience a fun. It has a  bookmarking button to the right of the URL box that lets you select your favorites from a drop-down list. The search box is located at the bottom. Backward and forward buttons for navigating the history are also available. The overall user interface is accessible through gesture based sliding system. Toggling the visibility of the sidebars is also managed by sliding gesture. When  one drags straight up, the address bar disappears from the top, but with the sidebar opened, the address bar remains intact.

Thumbnail representations of open web pages are shown in the tab bar rather than webpage listings. They can be closed by tapping the close button at their top left corner. New tabs can be created by tapping the add button located at the bottom of the list.

The tabbed browsing system is not as fine as that of Firefox desktop browser. It doesn’t manage tab overflow and the button for adding new tab disappears when the number of tabs opened reaches five or six. It doesn’t support multiple windows either.

Fennec has a password manager that upon your permission remembers your passwords. Fennec also supports some handy Firefox add-ons. A few add-ons have already been created and dozens are on the verge of release. So you will be able to see the popularity of websites, easy bookmarking links etc soon as the add-ons will come up in near future. Currently online flash videos cannot be played in the browser but very soon that functionality will also be available.

Fennec mobile browser is on alpha test and so is currently incompatible with all mobile phones. Currently you cannot modify it like you customize Toolbars in Firefox on the computer but these features will be added soon. This version isn’t ready for use to everyone yet but the ongoing developments with this mobile browser from Mozilla will surely foster tremendous outcomes and could be rolled out for other mobile platforms as well.

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