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Firefox for Android Pre-Alpha: bravery or nonsense?

Apr 29, 2010 by Andreea

Mozilla Firefox browser logoOn Wednesday, April 28, Mozilla has officially released the Firefox mobile browser, codenamed Fennec, for Android smartphones. If you wonder why anyone would want to release a pre-alpha version on the market, well the answer is simple: for free testing and lots and lots of feedback. This is also the case of Firefox, according to some developers who clearly affirmed that the purpose of this “pre-alpha” version is to be tested and receive feedback from users.

So, before getting your Android phone and start testing the new comer mobile browser, you should know the following things:

    * Because of the early stage of development and of requests, Fennec has been properly tested only on Motorola Droid and Google Nexus One smartphones
    * OS requirements are: Android 2.0 or above
    * Chances are that you'll also need an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible device
    * Fennec needs to be installed on the internal memory, an not on a SD card

Due to a considerable amount of bugs, don't be surprised if this early release of Firefox mobile browser will cause your phone to stop running. In this case the solution is a reboot.

Although the memory usage is not optimized for now, and links from other apps can't be opened using the new browser this pre-alpha build brings in a neat feature: the compatibility with Weave (remember Weave Sync? the add-on for Mozilla in charge of browsing, bookmarks, passwords and tabs synchronization across multiple PCs), which allows users to synchronize bookmarks and tabs across multiple browsers.

It's true that with this new release the competition for web browsers on Android platform is gaining some weight. On a market that already has Opera Software's Opera Mini (released late last year) as an alternative to Android built-in WebKit-based browser, Mozilla is acting pretty courageously. We'll just have to wait and see if this early release (or too early according to some) will help Mozilla catch up with Opera Mini, its main competitor. 

So, if you want to leave your feedback just go here: http://groups.google.com/group/fennec-android-pre-alpha


Tags: Future  Google 


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