Early version of Mozilla Mobile Browser shows speedy promise

Almost a year ago, the Mozilla Foundation announced that it was working on porting the Firefox web browser to mobile devices. Then earlier this year, mockups and additional details started to appear. Now, Mozilla has some pre-alpha builds of the browser (codenamed Fennec). Using the same codebase as the upcoming Firefox 3, Fennec is showing quite a bit of promise.

Mozilla developer Christopher Blizzard recently ran some tests on Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets and compared performance to the MicroB browser which comes with OS2008. Firefox 3 outperformed MicroB by a substantial margin. The summary here is that on ARM that a Firefox 3-based browser is a whopping 5.9x faster than earlier Mozilla versions. What is particularly interesting is that MicroB is itself based on Firefox 3 albeit a much old Alpha 1 release.

A lot of work is still going on around the interface. One of the latest designs shows a radial tap-and-hold menu triggering interface.

Firefox 3 is scheduled to be released in June and Fennec will follow.

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