Fennec + CrunchPad?

TechCrunch has an ongoing project to design a “dead simple and dirt cheap touch screen web tablet to surf the web.” The latest version, Prototype B, looks pretty nice.

The device is currently running Ubuntu and has a Webkit-based browser. Arrington originally wanted Firefox to run on the tablet. I’d be interested to see how Fennec works on the tablet. Fennec is designed to work well on mobile-class processors with tighter memory requirements. Fennec is also designed for touchscreens and supports the same add-ons mechanism as Firefox. Since Fennec is built on XULRunner, other XUL-based apps (Songbird, Chatzilla) get a free runtime.

Anyone with a Prototype B can test out Fennec Alpha 2 for Linux Desktop.

12 Comments

  1. Armenzg said,

    January 19, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    I can’t wait to get one of those devices. Why did they end up choosing a WebKit browser instead of Fennec?

  2. Josh said,

    January 19, 2009 @ 10:55 pm

    This is great, but what happened to Fennec builds for Windows Mobile? Tons of people already have those devices.

  3. Al Billings said,

    January 19, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

    It has been suggested that Fennec might do well on the netbook devices except they aren’t touchscreen-based. Normal Firefox UI gets in the way on those.

  4. Mark Finkle said,

    January 19, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    @Josh – The Windows Mobile builds are coming. We have actually moved past just getting Fennec to build to working on some speed optimizations. We are also working on some of the details to make the launch experience nicer.

    We plan on releasing Maemo and Windows Mobile builds for the next milestone.

  5. dave said,

    January 20, 2009 @ 4:12 am

    They actually seem committed to only having a web browser, so the XUL runtime *shouldn’t* be a positive for them since if they stick to their guns their won’t be any ‘applications’ outside the browser.

    On the other hand I’m not sure that kind of conceptual purity can sustain itself outside of, say, Apple. I mean look at the number of people in the comments saying “this is great, it just needs a keyboard” (and they don’t even mean bluetooth or wireless).

    On the third hand, they really need to customise the browser interface to get the most out of the unique form factor, much as Fennec has for smaller, one-handed touchscreens. You’d think the Mozilla platform would win in that regard over Webkit which, to my knowledge, is just the renderer.

  6. Chris said,

    January 20, 2009 @ 4:23 am

    Fennec would also work great on the new web-enabled TVs that were so popular at CES.

    You could use a remote like the Wii control to navigate around.

  7. funTomas said,

    January 20, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    Isn’t NOKIA working on Tablet around Fennec?

  8. Mark Finkle said,

    January 20, 2009 @ 10:01 am

    @funThomas – Fennec runs on the Nokia n8X0 Internet Tablet and we do work with the Nokia team. The CrunchPad is a little different class of device, although these device do get faster and better all the time. The CrunchPad is more like a touchscreen netbook tablet (no physical keyboard). The n8X0 is physically a little smaller.

  9. voracity said,

    January 21, 2009 @ 12:56 am

    Could I ask again why they chose Webkit? Is it because Fennec isn’t ready for showtime yet?

  10. Josh said,

    January 21, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    @ Mark – Excellent! I’ll be watching closely for the next milestone release! Fennec looks like it may single handedly revitalize the Windows Mobile Internet experience, which would be nice for those of us tied to WinMo by corporate requirements. Keep up the good work!

  11. CrunchPad de TechCrunch release to obtain mobile Firefox any time | eeePC WorldWide News said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

    […] Via Mark Finkle […]

  12. pc1oad1etter / nick said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

    Mark,

    The company I work for is hoping to run xulrunner apps on a small tablet-like device. We will definitely be watching to see if the crunchpad is a candidate for that.

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