Fennec (Firefox for Mobile) Makes Its Debut and Hits Production Mode

Amidst the Apple iPad buzz, a key happening in the mobile world took place as far as mobile browsing technology is concerned: Mozilla has released Firefox Mobile for Maemo 5, better known as the OS powering the Nokia N900. The first production version of Firefox for Mobile (earlier code-named as Fennec) has finally been released, for Nokia’s Maemo operating system. But Mozilla already seems to be scaling back its deployment plans, and unexpectedly the mobile browser will not support Adobe Flash. But the question that I keep asking myself is – are there enough people on this Nokia system that they found it attractive to develop it for them first?

Fennec (Firefox for Mobile) Makes Its Debut and Hits Production Mode

The new mobile browser comes equipped with an array of quite awesome features: the awesome bar, weave sync (sync your bookmarks, passwords, tabs, and history between mobile and desktop), tabbed browsing, and location-aware maps are all part of this launch. Many of the features and capabilities that users find on the desktop version are preserved in the mobile browser, such as the “Awesome Bar” which learns about your favorite Web sites and can suggestion search options for you, minimizing your typing on the handset. Mobile Firefox users also can load “add-ons,” the small packages of code that customize, personalize and extend the browser.

Firefox for mobile supports some features HTML 5, which is the next major revision of the markup language, intended to provide a foundation for a new generation of powerful Web applications with many of the characteristics of native applications. The specific HTML 5 capabilities in the mobile browser include Location-Aware browsing, the

Our favorite feature of the Firefox for Mobile launch though has to be the inclusion of add-ons. Yes, you’ll be able to customize your mobile browsing experience with add-ons like TwitterBar, AdBlock Plus and YouTube Enabler. There is a Firefox mobile add-on website with around 40 add-ons, but the number is growing.

Will Mozilla’s Firefox Mobile become a serious headache for other mobile browsers on advanced platforms? Yes, we think so. Especially future Apple iPad competitors could use Firefox Mobile as a powerful incentive to choose alternative 3G tablet solutions. If you’re not an N900 owner but want Firefox on your iPhone, Blackberry, Android or other smartphone, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news: Firefox is investigating Android and launching for other mobile phones soon. The bad news: Don’t expect them on the BlackBerry or iPhone anytime soon.


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