Mozilla Fennec

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

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
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.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?