First RC for Mobile Firefox Fennec

Jan 04, 2010

Stuart Parmenter, responsible for Mozilla's mobile realm, has announced at the start of the new year in the Mozilla blog the first release candidate for the mobile Firefox.

According to the software developer's announcement, the Fennec text rendering has improved. Under the covers there are to be various optimizations for the Nokia N900, such as /opt for an installation directory. Since N900 support begun in October 2009 beta 4, no new features were added. The release notes for RC 1.0 ended up being a summary of the beta phase accomplishments, so that enhancements aren't individually itemized. The stable 1.0 was actually planned for 2009.

Users already having the beta version installed on the N900 should automatically get an update notice. Other users of the N900 and N810 should install the Maemo build directly from the Mozilla download page, in one of the fully localized versions. For testers, translators and add-on developers without their own Maemo smartphone, a packed and compressed Desktop Builds version for Linux (i686), Mac and Windows is available per FTP.

Among known issues, the release notes list Flash performance problems when the browser plugin is active. Performance is also an issue with the less powerful N810 and N800 tablets; the intended use of Fennec is still on the N900.

The Fennec mobile Firefox has been in planning since end of 2007, originally intended for Symbian. Because the Mozilla team has meanwhile concentrated on the Nokia N series with Maemo, the question in the pavlov blog, "Hey, when it comes to Symbian smartphones..?" remains unanswered.

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