Mozilla Fennec

Mozilla this week put out its first beta release of Fennec, the mobile version of its Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Mozilla Fennec
  • Mozilla Fennec
  • Mozilla Fennec
  • Mozilla Fennec
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated

Pros

  • Easy to use, maximises screen space

Cons

  • Problems when playing video

Bottom Line

It looks as though Mozilla Fennec may prove a worthy rival to Opera Mini. If you're dying for a sneak peak at Fennec you can download the real thing for the Nokia N810 tablet or emulators for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.

Would you buy this?

Mozilla this week put out its first beta release of Fennec, the mobile version of its Mozilla Firefox web browser.

We took a quick look at Firefox's little sibling, and we have to say Fennec is a very impressive and easy to use browser that maximizes your small screen space.

Fennec uses touchscreen features such as zooming, panning and scrolling. It also embraces a lot of features you'd expect in a mobile Firefox, including the ability to download add-ons, the awesome bar, easy bookmark management, and even about:config access for power customisation.

Mozilla has even put TraceMonkey in Fennec, the same JavaScript engine found in Firefox 3.1, to speed up your browsing experience. Here are some more of highlights you can expect with Fennec.

Add-ons: If you are into customising Firefox with add-ons, you'll love this feature in Fennec. Right now, the only add-ons available include Twitter, a URL fixer to combat typos, and a few security programs. We downloaded the Twitter add-on for Fennec and found that getting add-ons worked just like in Firefox: the add-on dialogue box appears and we choose to install it.

After that, Fennec automatically restarts. Once Twitter was activated, we entered a Tweet in the address bar and clicked on a little green button to post. This is a great solution and allows you to easily post a URL that you're viewing. The Twitter add-on automatically shrinks the address using tinyURL.

Menus: Fennec's menus are easily accessible by moving the web page you are viewing to the left. This uncovers a side bar with buttons for back, forward, favorites, and advanced preferences. In the preferences section you can manage add-ons, extensions, themes, and plugins. You can also manage your privacy and security settings including JavaScript, passwords, cookies, and so on.

Awesome bar: Taking one of the most popular features from Firefox, Fennec's awesome bar remembers where you've been and allows you easy access to these sites. As an added feature, you can also search with Google, Yahoo, and Wikipedia right from the awesome bar.

Bookmarks management: The bookmarks icon is right next to the address bar and lets you save and manage your favourite sites. To go to a bookmark, you just click on the icon and then select your site.

Maximising Screen Space: Fennec is all about maximising your screen space. Once you start to scroll down a web page, the address bar disappears so you can see more of the page you're viewing.

Tabs: Getting to tabs in Fennec is so easy it's ridiculous. Just flick the web page to the right and you can easily add or close tabs from another sidebar. This is a fantastic feature, and will make mobile browsing far more productive.

Flash and other video codec support: Fennec boasts the ability to play anything from Flash to Quicktime to Silverlight. However, in our tests Fennec didn't fare well for playing video.

We accessed YouTube, the New York Times, and CNN to test video and none of them worked effectively. On YouTube we could get audio but no video (we couldn't even see the actual plugin), at CNN we couldn't even get the video to play, and at The New York Times the video was incredibly jumpy and was more like watching a slideshow. We hope these problems will be fixed before an official version of Fennec comes out.

Despite its video shortcomings, Fennec looks like a fantastic browser for the mobile web. According to the roadmap, the first devices to get Fennec will include Nokia's Maemo platform and Windows Mobile 6, followed by Symbian devices (work on Symbian begins in December 2009). Currently, there's no news to report for Palm, BlackBerry, or Apple iPhone users.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?