Ok. I’m going to just say it – I’m really eager to see Fennec make it to Android. Lately I’ve been seeing a few articles on it, watching a couple videos, and subsequently my mouth has been watering. I’m not even a Firefox power user ( but I do have a few Add-0ns I use) and I want it. So I’m sure there are some Firefox fans that are with me here.
(There is another video on Mozilla’s Mobile Page.)
I’m not sure what excites me more – the overall layout of the browser or the Add-ons. I love how all the controls as well as tabs are on the left and right of the screen, which you can access with a simple swipe. Location aware is pretty nifty as well but, I’ll say it again, it really is the security and Add-on features that make Firefox, and will make Fennec too .
There are already a number of mobile Add-ons available, here are a few recommended by Gigaom:
- First and probably most important is Mozilla’s Weave Sync, which connects your Firefox history, bookmarks and open tabs from your PC to your phone. So when you load up Firefox on mobile, you can leave off right where you were when you were at the office. If you type a few letters into the URL bar, it knows from experience where you’re most likely to want go.It’s not hard to imagine how useful this could be; a continuous personalized experience just makes sense. However, early adopters beware; current reviews of the add-on are mixed.
- Are you the kind of person who loses your phone often? Meet FireFound. Every time your phone changes location, it will send its coordinates to a server. If your phone ever gets stolen or misplaced, you can log in and see where it is. What’s more, you can even clear all the personal data saved in your browser remotely.
- There are already a couple of add-ons to help you deal with fat-fingered input on your miniature keyboard or touchscreen. Lazy Click applies clicks to the nearest clickable object, and URL Fixer fixes common typos, like .cmo for .com. There’s also an experimental add-on called Fennec Gestures that shows how a user might be able to control their browser with gestures (see video demo).
- Using mobile web pages really blows sometimes, but here are a few add-ons to ease the pain: AutoPager automatically loads the next page when you get to the bottom of one; Fastest Scroll in the West makes skimming long pages quicker; and Mobilize helps you switch to mobile versions of sites, if they exist.
- There are a couple of early geo add-ons, too. GeoGuide loads up map, pictures, weather, events and Wikipedia entries based on where you are. Near Me uses your location to do a search of local businesses.
- If you’re a frequent tweeter, you might install TwitterBar to update Twitter directly from the Firefox address bar. The add-on puts a Twitter icon in the bar, which you can click on to tweet or hover over to see how many characters you have left. There’s also a similar add-on for Identi.ca. Both are available for regular Firefox, but you can see how much more useful they would be on a tiny handset screen.
Firefox for your mobile phone comes complete with favorite and familiar features that you enjoy on your desktop:
The Awesome Bar searches your history, bookmarks and tags to go to your favorite sites instantly
Share your Firefox preferences, history, and bookmarks between your desktop and mobile
Add-ons to make your browser your own
Tabs that let you browse multiple sites at once
One-touch bookmarking to quickly organize websites
Benefits for Developers
Put your innovations in the hands of people all over the world to access anytime, anywhere
Tap into the device capabilities of the phone, such as geolocation, camera and calling
Develop game changing add-ons on the first mobile Web browser to offer add-ons
It will come as no surprise to see Fennec on Android, it’s just a matter of time. For those that need a more solid confirmation – see the platforms page or this interview. We’ll keep our eye out and keep you guys informed but in the meantime – is anyone as eager as me to put this at the top of their choice-of-browser list?