July 28, 2014

Pre-Alpha Release of Firefox Mobile (Fennec) Available

A very early look at the upcoming Firefox Mobile “Fennec” browser is now available to Android users thanks to one the developers behind the project.  Before you go running off to download the app, there are a few things you should know.  This should be considered “pre-alpha” and is by no means a 100% stable client.  In fact, this should actually be classified as simply usable.  There are known bugs and issues with the software that will likely frustrate the average user.

Check out a few of the bullet points from developer Vladimir Vukićević’s blog:

  • We’ve only really tested this on the Motorola Droid and the Nexus One.
  • It will likely not eat your phone, but bugs might cause your phone to stop responding, requiring a reboot.
  • Memory usage of this build isn’t great — in many ways it’s a debug build, and we haven’t really done a lot of optimization yet.  This could cause some problems with large pages, especially on low memory devices like the Droid.
  • You’ll see the app exit and relaunch on first start, as well as on add-on installs; this is a quirk of our install process, and we’re working to get rid of it.
  • You can’t open links from other apps using Fennec; we should have this for the next build.
  • This build requires Android 2.0 or above, and likely an OpenGL ES 2.0 capable device.
  • This build must be installed to internal memory, not to a SD card.

We’d also like to add that Fennec is a 10MB download that expands to over 31MB upon installation.  If you’re running low on system resources, you might want to skip this app altogether.  No sense in choking your phone out just to play with a buggy web browser.

We know you’re going to ignore us and download it anyway so here’s how to do it.  Point your Android phone to bit.ly/fennec-android or scan the barcode below and you’ll be able to grab it directly.