Fennec 1.0 Beta 4 for Maemo

The Mozilla Mobile Team is happy to announce the release of Fennec 1.0 beta 4 for Maemo. As promised, we have been working hard on user experience and UI polish. Here’s a few changes you’ll find in this release:

  • Improved touch-friendly theme
  • Improved panning and zooming performance and behavior
  • Add search providers from the site identity panel
  • Manage search providers from the Add-ons Manager
  • Simplified the Download Manager (removed searching and find file on disk)
  • Streamlined the bookmarking process
  • Simplified the bookmark management
  • Popup notification when background tabs open
  • Bookmark list now displays the URL and tags associated with a bookmark
  • Added a product information page (about:fennec or use the button in Preferences)
  • Support for add-ons options in the Add-on Manager
  • Support for updating add-ons
  • Support for the HandheldFriendly meta-tag (support for the viewport meta-tag is coming)

In addition to the changes, there are plenty of bug fixes and enhancements going on under the hood. The tile system we implemented for beta 3 is still providing benefits and areas where we can increase performance.

Speaking of new things, Nokia released Maemo 5 and the very cool N900 device. We have spent some time making sure Fennec runs well on the N900. Some of the changes include adding task and close buttons to the Fennec URLbar when in fullscreen and making some theme changes to handle the default N900 themes.

If viewing on your N900 or N810, install from here. In addition to Maemo build, you can also download desktop builds for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

23 Replies to “Fennec 1.0 Beta 4 for Maemo”

  1. @TNO: Fennec uses the exact same rendering engine as Firefox. For example, Fennec 1.0 is being based on the same engine that will ship with Firefox 3.6

    We do, however, have some quirks introduced by Fennec’s canvas-based viewing layer. We are tracking those quirks as bugs and we are working to fix them.

  2. -TNO-, that is an interesting question. I found the webkit comparison to be very enlightening and of great use. For Gecko, there will always be small regressions introduced that might not get fixed for a few patch releases. Technically Fennec is the same Gecko as Firefox 3.6, but changes are always going in to fix (and unfortunately sometimes regress) issues.

    One example of a difference is the acid2 test:

    this test was broken for many months until recently. So comparing an earlier beta release of Fennec to that of a desktop Firefox would have yielded a difference. There is a fairly comprehensive set of automated tests for Firefox which do help point out these issues. Of course the existing tests don’t cover everything:)

    If there is a known difference between the versions, file a bug and it will get fixed! It will be interesting if a similar comparison is done for the Gecko engine.

  3. (For that matter, does Maemo’s built-in browser? If not, that would represent an excellent reason to switch from the built-in browser to Fennec.)

  4. Which graphical toolkit is this fennec release built on?

    AFAIK last year Nokia paid to port the Mozilla codebase (well, the UI-part of it) to Qt.

    When will fennec switch to Qt ?

  5. @Anonymous: Fennec will support audio and video tags. We are currently woring to increase the frame rate of the theora-based video tag implementation.

    @Yves: Fennec is currently built using the Gtk backend. The Qt version also builds, but is not currently the primary target.

    @N800 User: Fennec should run fine on the N800. Obviously the N810 and N900 have better performance. The hard keyboards make it a bit easier to use as well. As Nokia keeps releasing newer devices, we’ll focus less and less on the N800.

  6. @Mark: Not sure why you are under the impression that N810 has better performance than N800. N800 has the same CPU as N810 (CPU 400 MHz TI OMAP 2420). Some features are BETTER on N800 than N810 (storage is two full size SD cards with 32GB each to a total of 64GB, N800 includes a FM tuner). N800 doesn’t have GPS but then again I am yet to meet someone that is using the GPS in the N810. Yes, N810 has the keyboard too which makes it heavier – there is price for everything. Check the sales numbers and you will be amazed at how many N800s are out there with happy users 🙂

    Anyways, keep up the good work and don’t forget about N800…

  7. The new fullscreen look is nice, but the Close button on the right of the url bar should probably ask before closing if you have multiple tabs open.

  8. Is this OSX release universal, or Intel only? Tried to test the last couple releases, but as they were Intel only no luck for me (I use a vintage PPC for browsing).

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