Firefox for Maemo or popularly known as Fennec, saw its third RC release today. The browser is out on a good course already, but faces tough competition from Opera Mini and Opera Mobile. But it is this competition that makes Fennec deliver better.
One major change in this new RC3 version is seen as the removal of plugin support. Adobe flash and other added content plugins are no longer supported by default but can be added later from the about:config menu. This removal was made keeping in view the speed factor. The developers are trying to develop an add-on which will let users chose which sites to enable plugins for. This will speed up browsing considerably without compromising for absence of flash content.
Special focus has been given on improved security, productivity, web synchronization and overall performance. The address bar has been replaced by an awesome bar which has many more capabilities than simply navigating to a desired location. A complete list of these changes can be found in the release notes at this official release notes page.
Existing users of the RC2 version will see an update automatically. Those of you who have not received the update can visit this download link if you want to download it directly to your N900 or N810.
The second release candidate (RC2) of Firefox for Maemo, is now available for download. This new version has resolved some major performance issues that were affecting the Nokia N900. It also includes the latest version of the layout engine Gecko 1.9.2 RC1. It is the same version on which, soon-to-be-released Firefox 3.6 RC1 is based on.
Firefox for mobile, is currently supported on Nokia’s Maemo platform. It is available for download on the Nokia N900. You can download it from Firefox.com/mobile.
If the RC1 of Fennec is already installed on your Nokia N900 or N810, you will receive a software update shortly. Also, you can point your mobile browser to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/m/ and download the update from there. This new release candidate includes a number of improvements in navigation, user interface, synchronization and privacy as well as security.
You can also use and experiment with Firefox for mobile on your desktop. This will enable you to provide feedback; to build your own add-ons, and get involved. You can read the complete change-log and details about Firefox for mobile RC2 https://www.mozilla.com/en-US/mobile/1.0/releasenotes/
The browser engine on which Digia @Web is based on supports HTML 4.01. Some more features of the browser engine are:
True web page rendering.
HTTP 1.1 with support for secure and non-secure browsing.
HTTP cache and cookies.
Flash content support.
Netscape compatible Plug-in interface.
The current list of mobile devices that this browser supports include Nokia 5230, Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic, Nokia 5530 Xpressmusic, Nokia N97, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia X6, Sony Ericsson Satio and Samsung i8910 HD.
While there is a very strong competition between mobile browsers in the market, Opera seems to be a clear winner for now. Previously, we had covered the Opera mobile in detail. We have also covered the much awaited “Fennec” browser from Mozilla Firefox, which seems to be a strong competitor to Opera for now.
What do you think about Digia @Web ? Do let us know with your comments.
Firefox Mobile for Maemo is available for downloads for Nokia N900, the new features in 1.0 release includes:
Awesome Bar, which is pretty popular in the desktop version
Easy access to several search engines.
Touch Oriented user interface
Obstruction less browsing with auto hiding of controls and awesome bar, along with quick zoom
Synchronization with Weave
Support for add-ons. Right now there are 40 add-ons available for downloads
Password manager, popup blocker, instant website ID and more.
These are just some of the features available in the browser, for more, visit the release page. You can download Firefox Mobile RC1 for mobiles by visiting Firefox.com/m on your Nokia N900. FF for Mobile is also available as desktop downloads, click on the links below to choose the downloads for your appropriate OS. (links below will initiate automatic downloads)
Looks like Firefox Mobile "Fennec", which was supposed to be released this year, will be delayed too, like the other versions of Firefox. Firefox Mobile, was supposed to be released for the Nokia N900Internet tablet in late December 2009, however, we have already reached the final day of the year and there is no sign of it.
It would be impractical and totally unwise to release the software on the 31st December of any year, so we can safely assume that you will not get a chance to use it until 2010.
Delays in releases are always there, but it is often suicidal when you are entering the industry. Especially more when you are trying to compete with the likes of Opera Mini and Skyfire.
Firefox Mobile is however available for downloads as a beta on this page.
Firefox has already captured a huge market share in the desktop browser market. In the next few days, they will start their endeavor to capture the mobile browser share, by releasing "Fennec", the web browser for mobile phones and Internet tablets.
Jay Sullivan, the head of the Fennec project, has told BBC that Mozilla will be releasing the Fennec browser for the Nokia N900 phone by the end of this year, a release for other devices will follow soon after. Mozilla Fennec will be made available for downloads through the Mozilla’s website and also through Nokia’s Ovi Store, so that N900 users can easily download and install it.
Another interesting thing was that, Joe had some hopes on Fennec making it to the Apple Store. However, we think that it would be next to impossible. Opera‘s Mini was also rejected from the app store.
"Apple is very restrictive. As it’s a pretty closed platform we don’t see that happening soon."
Opera Mini is still the market leader in the mobile browser segment, followed by Safari and Nokia’s default browser. It would be an interesting battle between Opera and Fennec as Safari is only restricted to iPhone now.
Firefox Mobile will have synchronization support with the desktop version of Firefox, so you can access data seamlessly on either you computer or mobile phone. It will also support add-ons, as with desktop version of Firefox. Firefox Mobile will be the first browser to accomplish this feat. The so called Mozilla add-on store we had talked about earlier, will be available for Fennec, there will be a mix of both free and paid apps in the store.
Rest aside, this will be a very interesting launch for Mozilla, as Fennec has been in active development for more than a year and a half now, and was tested on earlier Nokia tablet phones.