Fennec Alpha Released for Android and Nokia N900

Stuart Parmenter

371

The Alpha release of the next major version of Fennec is now available for Android and Nokia N900 users to download and test. Fennec (codename for Firefox mobile) is the first mobile browser to offer add-ons and is built on the same technology that powers desktop Firefox. The latest version of Fennec builds on the rich set of features from the previous release and makes it easier for you to bring your Firefox experience with you anywhere.

Fennec Alpha now creates one fluid Web experience between desktop and mobile devices by providing Firefox Sync built-in into the browser, which provides seamless access to Awesome Bar browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, form-fill data and open tabs.

The main focus of this release is to increase performance and responsiveness to user actions. This is being implemented using two major technologies, “Electrolysis” and “Layers.” This Alpha release includes Electrolysis, which allows the browser interface to run in a separate process from the one rendering Web content. By doing this, Fennec is able to react much faster to user input while pages are loading or CPU intensive JavaScript is running. The upcoming beta release will start taking advantage of Layers to greatly improve performance in graphic intensive actions like scrolling, zooming, animations and video. We’re also working to optimize these actions using the hardware-accelerated graphics rendering capabilities showing up in today’s mobile devices.

Watch the demo:

This first Alpha release of Fennec for Android is an exciting first step in bringing browser choice and customization, along with a seamless Web experience across devices, to a leading open mobile platform. Now, developers have the power to use the latest Web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to to build fast, powerful and beautiful mobile apps and add-ons that can reach many millions of devices.

See the release notes for a full list of features with this release.

We value your feedback and will work to incorporate it in future versions of the browser, so please test Fennec Alpha and let us know what you think.

Stay tuned for updates in our newsletter.

371 responses

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