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>This blog post talks about the latest alpha milestone release of Fennec, the Firefox app for Windows Mobile. You can grab the CAB file directly from your handheld here. I love Firefox on any and every platform so this got me excited. I looked around the web for others who have tried it out and found this article from PCMag talking about how they could not get Fennec pre-alpha to load a single webpage! Can you believe that?

Well I continued on doing my due diligence and discovered the pre-alpha was created for a single device, the HTC Touch Pro. I am rocking an HTC Touch Pro 2 so I gave it a go.  And I had some rather surprising results. I documented my trip through FireFox for Windows Mobile here.

The first thing I did was to use the above link to grab the CAB file directly on my device from Mozilla’s FTP. Next up I navigated to the file using Total Commander. You can just as easily use the built-in File Explorer or any other Explorer for that matter. Simply run the CAB file and install it to YOUR DEVICE!

Do Not Install To The Memory Card!

firefox for windows mobile

Marvel in amazement as Fennec 1.0a3 installs on your device. It took me 1.6 minutes which is pretty long for a Windows Mobile install.


firefox for windows mobile

After the installation is complete you will have a Fennec icon on your start menu.  Simply click it and let’s see how she works. After launching the application it took almost another full minute to load up Fennec. I saw a progress bar as it loaded. Something you do not see much of on Windows Mobile.

firefox for windows mobile

And then boom just like that I was at a about:firstrun screen. That went away quickly and brought me to a Fennec page. But you can see on the search screen links to Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Wikipedia – sorry Bing lovers.

firefox windows mobile browser

The Fennec screen shows that you can hold the device in any orientation you like and the application will recognize it using your devices built-in gravity sensor. Scroll to the right and you will see a button to add the page to your favorites and a gear button to open up Fennec’s settings. I clicked on the star button and it adds a favorite without any other intervention. Click on the gear and we will go to the applications preferences.

firefox windows mobile browser

The first page of the preferences page shows you a button to see information about Fennec, the option to show or hide images (great for mobile slow browsing) Enable Javascript which is mind blowing on a mobile device and Enable Plugins which also brings a woo-hoo out of me.

Plugins make the desktop iteration of Firefox so powerful and now here they are on the handheld. Nice! Cookies, passwords and clearing the recent cache all can be set up and configured from this menu.

firefox windows mobile browser

The puzzle piece brings you to the add-ons menu. I tried searching for add-ons but I could not find any!

download firefox mobile for smartphones

Well in all fairness it said it couldn’t retrieve any add-ons. Either the server is not running or it is and there are no plug-ins to download and test. But this shows huge promise.

download firefox mobile for smartphones

The arrow pointing down is your download manager – another very nice feature to extend to your mobile device. The last button did not do anything for me. If you know what it is (I thought volume control) let me know.

And last but certainly NOT least, here is me browsing the web with Fennec which works flawlessly for me and it pretty quick to boot. I was running Javascript on my own website and it came through perfectly. I also tested cookies and the image blocking via preferences. All working very nicely. I don’t know if I will be switching from Skyfire any time soon but I will be testing it and watching it mature and progress.

download firefox mobile for smartphones

Have you got any other information about Fennec?  If so, please leave it in the comments!

  1. Vyseus
    January 11, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Will fennec works on older version of window mobile?,since the beta release is here..or I have to wait for further release?

  2. Floris
    January 6, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I tried it on my Xperia but it was way too slow...

    • Karl Gechlik
      January 6, 2010 at 6:13 am

      This alpha was made for the HTC TouchPRo and that series like the diamond, the diamond part 2 and the tp2 (and its iterations) but it was not made to run optimized on your Xperia. Stay tuned for a more general release.

  3. dels
    January 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    it would be good if you provided a benchmark between opera mobile and mozilla fennec, don't mention skyfire since it was proxy based rendering web browser like opera mini or bolt

    • Karl Gechlik
      January 6, 2010 at 6:11 am

      It is a little slower than Opera at times and on par others. I will get the benchmarks running when the first beta hits the scene.

  4. Scott
    January 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for this! I tried a pre-Alpha a while ago, and it was awful. I hope this version is a huge improvement...

    > Why does your installation screen say it requires 26191KB, but mine says it requires 24584KB? I'm using the same phone (HTC TP2) and the same file...

    > How the hell do you have 225396KB of available space?? Do you install most things to the storage card?

    I'm always concerned about installations on the card, so I always install onto the device. Which brings up a topic I'd love to see you cover: "Which WM applications & games can be installed on a card, and which require installation onto the device."

    For example, does Total Commander work well when installed on a card? What about Skype? Google Maps? Opera Mobile? Evernote? YouTube, Netflix Mobile, Microsoft MyPhone, etc.?

    • Karl Gechlik
      January 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

      1. I have no idea What Rom are you running? - I uninstalled and reinstalled and it said the same thing. I did install it to the storage card maybe it writes some things to there and the majority to the storage card.

      2. 225396KB / 1024 (MB) = 220.11 MB free on my 8gb Micro SD card.

      3. If you have a newer faster card you can install almost anything to it. I read some users having issues installing to the storage card so I recommended installing to main memory - if you are feeling up to it uninstall them and reinstall to memory card. Most of them WILL work.

      Total commander does work from storage card as well as opera and google maps as for the others I have not tried.

      Thanks for reading Scott.

      • Scott
        January 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

        Thanks, Karl.

        1> I'm running the stock HTC/Sprint/Windows 6.1 (but heavily customized).

        2> That would explain it - I assumed you installed to the device, so I thought that was the available space there...

        3> I just got a 16GB class 6, so I have plenty of room. Maybe I'll uninstall some things here & there, and reinstall them to my card...

        Thanks for letting me know about those applications that will run well on the card; I'm sure that'll free up a lot of room on my device!

        One more question, if you don't mind: what if I'm using an application I have installed on my card, and while I'm using the application I decide to pull out the card; is that going to cause a huge problem? Or would it be akin to pulling a flash drive out of my laptop while viewing its contents in explorer?

        Thanks again.

        • Karl Gechlik
          January 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm

          I just tried it with Newsbreak my rss reader. I started it up opened up then opened a post. I then removed the memory card and continued to read the post. But when I clicked to go back to the index it kicked me back to the home screen.

          I would love to hear more about your customizations!

  5. Jack
    January 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Is there a Firefox version available for BlackBerry? Or is Fennec able to be installed on a BlackBerry?

    • Karl Gechlik
      January 5, 2010 at 11:42 am

      Not as of this time Jack.

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