Mozilla Releases Fennec Alpha (Firefox Mobile) for Android 2.0+ and Nokia N900

Although an alpha build of Fennec was available for download for Android 2.0+ devices since a few months, it wasn’t really the most stable pieces of software. Today, Mozilla have officially released the alpha version of Fennec for Android 2.0+ and Nokia N900. It features much of the features that we’ve come to love in the desktop version of Firefox. It’s loaded with features such as awesome bar, Firefox Sync, Add-ons support and much more.Fennec Alpha

This release also implements Electrolysis and Layers. Electrolysis allows tabs to to run in separate processes just like in Google Chrome. This helps save tabs from crashing and keeps the browser reactive even in slowdowns due to intensive JavaScript loading or Add-ons. Layers provides improved performance in graphic intensive scenarios like scrolling, zooming, animations and video. These scenarios will take full advantage of hardware-accelerated graphics rendering.

Add-ons can be installed and uninstalled on the go allowing you to customize and enhance the browsing experience. A start page is also included which lets you resume your browsing from where you left it off from Firefox desktop. A new ‘awesome screen’ pops up by tapping on the awesome bar. It’s a smart list of history items and bookmarks and allows to create customized search engines with just a few taps, again, like Google Chrome.

Here are a few other features in Fennec Alpha:

  • Pinch-to-zoom (Android), double-tap, or use the volume rocker (Nokia N900) to zoom in and out
  • Tabbed browsing in thumbnail view lets you easily see and open the site you want
  • Location-Aware Browsing gives you content and info relevant to your location
  • Save to PDF in the Site Menu lets you capture important content, like driving directions or a boarding pass, to view offline
  • Find in Page in the Site Menu lets you quickly find text on the webpage
  • Share Page in the Site Menu lets you send content to email, Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader
  • Forget Password in the Site Menu tells a website you no longer trust to forget your private data
  • Add Search Engine in the Site Menu lets you quickly add a new search engine to your Awesome Screen
  • Context Menu lets you Open in New Tab and Share by long tapping and holding a link
  • Smart Tapping lets you tap on links, widgets and other Web content with accuracy
  • Password Manager lets you choose to remember site password to avoid typingTo download and install Fennec Alpha, go to on your Android device or N900.

A desktop version of Fennec alpha can be downloaded for Windows, OS X and Linux for development purposes from the following links:

Keep in mind that this is just an alpha build and there are some known issues where some add-ons might not work and graphics performance might be slow. Fennec Alpha is optimized for Nexus One so far so your mileage may wary with other Android devices.

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