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Preview Of Mozilla's Mobile Browser For Maemo 5 Platform On A Nokia N900

Wednesday, 02 September 2009 00:00

Written by Apocalypso.

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n900_fennecCouple of months ago, Mozilla, the nonprofit organization behind Firefox, has rolled out first public BETA version of Fennec, the long awaited mobile version of the their very popular desktop browser for Nokia's Linux based Maemo platform with hope that fully backed Fennec mobile browser could be ready to run on consumer smartphones by the end of the year for Windows Mobile and S60 devices.

 

Apparently, it seems that Mozilla will keep its promises and is planning to bring Mobile version of Firefox browser to the N900 in the next quarter, despite fact that Finns' native browser is powered by Mozilla technology with full Adobe Flash 9.4 support that in combination with high-resolution WVGA touch screen and fast internet connectivity makes mobile web browsing far more enjoyable than ever imagined!

Anyway, folks over at TechRadar managed to nab some time with the latest version of Fennec browser, and here are some exclusive photos of the new browser running on Nokia's new flagship device.

The initial focus of Fennec development was on building a new user experience that reflects Firefox's design principles, adding touch screen support and other interactions appropriate for mobile phones and other handheld devices, while preserving leading features like the Smart URL Bar ("awesome bar") and support for add-ons.

 

fennec_n900_01

 

Awesome bar acts as both navigation and search bar. Start typing in a URL or search term and it auto-suggests web pages based on your past Web surfing habits. Various searches, including Google, YAhoo Answers, and Wikipedia, are one click away via links at the bottom.

Mozilla also explores some richer bookmark maintenance and same as its desktop version since version 3.0, Fennec lets you tag your bookmarks instead of saving it to a folder when you create a bookmark, so if you need a site tagged with Nokia you just need to type that tag into the awesome bar and it will bring up all bookmarks tagged with Nokia tag.

fennec_n900_02

 

As mobile browsers converge more and more with the desktop experience, the mobile browser with the best add-on implementation will get a leg up. Various different extensions were a vital ingredient to Firefox's success among mainstream users, and they stand a good chance of pitching Firefox Mobile against competitors.

Beyond extensions, Fennec's dev team also added the gesture support and so called chrome-less browsing on its latest mobile version of Firefox called Fennec. Chrome-less browsing refers to the fact that navigation controls are hidden from the end user while they are panning around a web-page.

fennec_n900_03

This gives the illusion that the display is larger than it actually is because the navigation controls and address bar don't consume screen real estate when the users do not need them. Swiping left to right brings up your tabbed browser options in pictoral form, with right to left opening the options menu.

Geolocation is an opt-in tool that lets users share their location information with web sites through Firefox and will enable a new range of services on the web. Geolocation can make web sites smarter and you more productive. Websites that use geolocation will ask where you are in order to bring you more relevant information, or to save you time while searching.

I know it sounds kind of cliché but Firefox mobile is based on the same core as the Firefox 3 and will 'bring a true web experience to mobile phones and other mobile devices' according to the foundation. It will also allow users to easy migrate user data like cookies, bookmarks, forms data, and various other information from their desktop browsers to their mobile devices.

A mobile version of Firefox would compete with versions of Opera and Internet Explorer and would adopt the same desktop feel as its desktop cousin - if the goal of demonstrating that 'mobile' is part of one, unified, open web" is anything to go by.



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