Fennec 2.0 Alpha Closer to Android, MeeGo

Mozilla is getting closer to releasing Fennec 2.0, the Firefox for mobile browser promised a while ago for Android, and a new version of the already available solution for Maemo devices, which is aimed at offering support for MeeGo too, the successor of Maemo.

“Now things are starting to stabilize, and we are gearing up for the first Fennec 2.0 alpha release in just a few weeks,” Mozilla's Matt Brubeck notes in a recent blog post.

While Maemo users already enjoy the capabilities of Fennec, the solution is brand new for Android. “Fennec 1.0 and 1.1 were for available only for Nokia's Maemo operating system. Fennec 2 will run on the Google Android platform, as well as Maemo and its successor MeeGo,” Brubeck states.

When it comes to the manner in which things are progressing, we can count the fact that the current Fennec builds come with noticeable bugs, but they can be used for testing, add-on development, or even regular web browsing.

One of the most important changes in Fennec 2 is Electrolysis, which consists of making content rendering and JavaScript two different process, so that the Fennec UI would remain responsive while pages are loading.

Some of the main features of Fennec 2.0 include:

- Firefox Sync is now built in – sync tabs, bookmarks, and history from your computer to your phone, no add-on required!

- The new Find In Page command is available through the site menu (or by pressing Control+F on a hardware keyboard).

- You can now share links through Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, or email. (The final version of this feature will also let you send links using native Android or Maemo apps.)

- Fennec 2 can use your phone's address book to make it easy to enter phone numbers and email adresses into web forms. (This works on Maemo now; support for Android will be added later.)

- We're adding multi-touch gestures. Pinch zoom has landed for alpha; later releases will also include multi-touch swipe gestures to go to the top or bottom of the current page, or navigate between pages.

Mozilla promised in early 2010 that a beta version of Fennec for Android would arrive before the end of the year, and it seems that we're moving closer to seeing the first alpha release being pushed out.

Until a more stable version becomes available for handsets based on Google's OS (Nexus One and DROID at the moment), users can tryout nightly builds, available for download here.

Fennec for Maemo is available for download from here.

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