Latest Fennec Alpha is Now Available


A bit more than a week ago, we reported that Fennec was heading into the 2.0 version of its alpha stages. While nightly builds of the Android version had been available before, only the Nokia N900 version of the mobile browser had gotten a stable Alpha distribution (yes, I know that makes no sense, but it’s the only way I see fit to describe it as it’s technically been in alpha development for months now).


Mozilla’s hosting a full changelog over at their site, so be sure to head over there to see what’s new with this compared to the nightlies. Don’t forget that this is alpha so you’re bound to run into bugs. Once that happens, be sure to drop Mozilla a line to let them know (that’s if they aren’t already aware). Visit this link from your Android phone to get started.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. 11.3 MB?? That is huge compated to webkit browsers.

  2. Downloading now

  3. It’s huge for the fact that it has to include the entire rendering engine. The Webkit browsers typically pull in built-in browsing framework and layer atop rather than re-implement.

  4. Dave: It’s an alpha build, I’m assuming they will parse out the excess before it makes it to Beta or a release build.

  5. Well tried it and it is UNBEARABLY slow on my D1 oc’d to 1GHz

  6. Mytouch 3G 1.2 running CM6 RC1 – Downloaded & installed but force closes when you try to open it. It’s also 28.58MB once installed WOW.

    I’ll try with the HD2 and see if it works.

  7. Absolute no go on eris on 2.2 rom. Just wont start at all. How is this so ridiculously huge and non-functional. I cannot believe how bad this is from someone who makes the browser, email client, and ftp client I use. How is this so difficult (says the guy who cant do it either, then again its not what I do for a living).

  8. It’s still 17mb on my phone when installed to the sdcard.

    Froyo Apps2SD irritates me sometimes.

  9. Ugh.. 28megs after it’s installed on my Nexus One.

    Also when panning in zoomed mode, you can only go horizontal or vertical, it’s not a free mode pan.


  10. @n2imagination
    It’s “ridiculously huge and non-functional” because it isn’t finished yet!
    If you decide to install software that is still in production, don’t blame the developers for it.

    It is Alpha software, not even beta. The usual set up is something like:

    Alpha: In development
    Beta: Somewhat stable but buggy

  11. Lol at the n00bs complaining about the practicality of the build when the build’s purpose is for testing.

    Test Driven Development FTW.

  12. Why is this browser development taking so long? Look at Xscope and Dolphin. It seems like those were ready overnight.

  13. @John, it could be because they’re aiming for perfect and they also have FF and their other projects to worry about. I don’t know much about the companies behind xScope and Dolphin, but I’d be willing to bet that they’re far more focused than the FF crew.
    I don’t know if you’ve tested out Dolphin and xScope yourself, but they both fall short in there own ways. I think Fennec is aimed to beat them both and the stock browser. Doing that takes time.
    I know someone is gonna challenge me on xScope and Dolphin, so here are my issues (FYI I’m rockin a DX w/o a task manager and have tried the most recent versions of each browser). Dolphin is very noticeably slower than the stock browser. I need speed first and foremost, so that is unacceptable to me.
    xScope isn’t quite as fast as stock browser when loading pages (close but it doesn’t catch stock). I still would use it, but the zooming is still buggy. Pinch zoom isn’t nearly as fluid as in the stock browser, and the double-tap-and-slide-to-zoom feature is extremely inaccurate (and thats when it even registers that it should be zooming).
    My hope is that when Fennec is finally released it will be the top browser by a good margin. Hopefully it doesn’t follow FFs resource-intensive footsteps though…

  14. @Will youre missing the Release Candidate stages! (Stabel but still a few bugs!) and not to mention the tend to have RC,RC1,RC2, and RC3!

  15. Oh right yeah! I forgot about Release candidates!

  16. @will, I personally believe that projects shouldn’t be released for testing (except between developers) until it has reached beta stage. Alpha is just a preview and most of the times so unstable that you can’t even look for bugs appropriately.

  17. It seems alot of people don’t grasp the concept of alpha test builds…
    Played with it last night, and I like what I see. Very excited to see the progress being made on it.

  18. Please do not compare this to xScope and Dolphin.

    xScope and Dolphin are browser UI shells wrapped around your phone’s existing HTML rendering and JavaScript engines. They are compact because they are only providing a modified user interface, not a new browser engine.

    If you want to learn how to build your own browser using WebKit, just learn a bit about Android development and then read this:

    Fennec (and Opera) are completely different browser engines which do not make use of Android’s built-in browser in any capacity.

    Alpha software is not intended for use by the general public. Expect it to be buggy, slow, and possible unusable for your desired application. Download an alpha only if you’re extremely curious or want to help in the development of this open-source project. You’ll want to read release notes before doing so.

    When the original Mozilla builds came out in the early ’00s, all reviews were unanimous that it was awful and would never amount to anything.

  19. its a piece of shit stop trying to make it work its not even worth it smh

  20. @shawn1224
    The thing is, that this isn’t a release in anyway really. I may be wrong but if news sites like Phandroid didn’t say anything it would be relatively unknown.
    As an open source project, it is how Mozilla works.

  21. Code Reviw and test driven development key to success.

  22. I have a previous nightly build of Fennec. When I download this and start to install, I get the progress bar and then an orange icon and “Application Not Installed.” Any ideas what the problem might be? (Besides it being Alpha.)

  23. sux i uninstalled after 5 min…of wackness

  24. Not bad, synced all my info with it on my DX. Pretty slow, but has a nice UI.

  25. already unnstalled it…ridiculously slow

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