The first official pre-release version of Mozilla’s mobile Firefox browser for Android devices has arrived, the company announced Friday.
Codenamed Fennec, Firefox mobile is based on the same code as the big daddy desktop version of Firefox. It supports the same web standards and it even accepts add-ons. It also syncs up with your other versions of Firefox, so your history, Awesomebar searches, auto-fill form data and passwords will be the same as you move from desktop to mobile and back again throughout your day.
One of the strokes of genius design in the Fennec browser is the unique side-to-side swipe action, which brings up menus for things like tabs, bookmarks and settings. It minimizes the browser chrome and leaves more screen real estate for web pages. This new version has the sync features as well as pinch-to-zoom browsing.
We’ve seen pre-release versions of Fennec running on Android in the past, but they were patchy and bare bones. This is a real-deal alpha release. It may not be entirely stable yet, but it’s come a long way since its meager beginnings.
In a blog post, Mozilla tells us about some of the secret sauce in this release:
And here’s a video demo:
Last year, I took an in-depth look at Fennec for Maemo (mobile Linux) on the Nokia N900. It’s pretty sweet.