For quite some time now, Mozilla has been struggling to introduce their own mobile browser. Their first offering Minimo, was wiped out and then reintroduced later as Fennec in the beginning of 2008. Even this version was not very well received as there was great difficulty in downloading it on mobile.
Now, towards the end of 2008, Mozilla has launched the second alpha release of Fennec. They first launched the version that is compatible with the Nokia N810 handset in October 2008 and later with Windows desktop computers. They are also targeting Linux and Mac computers.
Fennec will not be compatible with popular handsets such as the BlackBerry Bold, T-Mobile G1 and iPhone 3G. Christian Sejersen, Mozilla’s director of mobile engineering wrote on his blog that Fennec will not operate on the Android or RIM platforms due to technical or licensing difficulties.
The new version of Fennec has improved abilities of panning and zooming while a page is still downloading, and also after the page is downloaded. It will also be very easy to use facilities such as bookmarks, thumbnails or add tags. A mockup of the browser is shown alongside.
ArsTechnica reports that application developers have already started developing new features to add to Fennec. For instance, there is a Twitter bar extension. If users make use of this they will be able to post information directly on Twitter from the Fennec address bar. Developers are also reportedly working on a Fennec port of the Weave Framework similar to the one for Firefox. It will be a while, therefore, before the finalised product is available.