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New Fennec for Android is “Awesome”, Speedy and Allows for Updates

On Friday, the Director of Firefox tweeted about the newest build of Fennec, said that it “just got way awesome” and wasn’t joking.  Not only is this latest build substantially faster than previous versions, it also prompts you for updates when they are released.  Instead of having to try and keep up with the latest nightlies, simply install the version below and it’ll prompt you to update going forward.  Can’t beat that right?  Now if only Flash 10.1 would work with it.

Download:  Fennec.apk

Install as you would any other .apk file.

Via:  Mike Beltzner Twitter

  • Marcus H

    Application is too large and slow… Unistalled this application after 10 mins of using it.

  • http://twitter.com/iStormUK iStormUK

    I tried this out, and holy crap, it's not the nicest experience I've ever had. I have a 1Ghz Snapdragon Dell Streak. The address bar takes up so much of my large screen that I couldn't bear to look at it, and despite having what I thought was a 'fast' phone, every aspect of it was slower than running Netscape on 486 under windows 3. o.o The size of it is massive, and for the sake of a new 'rendering engine' I see little point, still suffers from Firefox flaws, like needing a restart every time a minor plugin, like tweetbar is added. Chrome seemingly manages to load extensions without a restart, how come firefox and derivatives never can?

  • Warden Chinbach

    I have to know: what phone are these screenshots from? I haven't seen a version of Android look so clean and sleek, and I haven't seen popups like that ever. Is it a ROM? Tell me everything! Please!

  • Ben

    I continue to not understand Mozilla's so-far feeble attempts here. If by “faster” you mean “still not even half as fast as the stock browser”, then yeah, it's tons faster. It also still lags out after the first few pages because it has consumed nearly all of the free memory on my phone. Dolphin also continues to blow Fennec away in every possible way I can test with my own eyes. Mozilla would be smart to just put the wraps back on this one and come back when they have a competitive, full featured offering.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/NFYEPNXKSCLXMHXLMUW46FZOWU Kent

    TBH, the base browser in Android is good enough that I really can't get enthusiastic for alternative browsers… Dolphin, Skyfire, FF… none of it is that exciting, they just do not bring much to the table, IMHO. It not like a windows situation where the base browser is so bad that you'd have to be clueless not to find an alternative.

  • Rooftopsuicideclub

    My droid 1 is totally locked up for the second time trying to load google's page. this does not qualify as either 'fast' or 'awesome'.

  • justin

    I would like a comparison between stock, dolphin, xscope, skyfire, and fennec. Honestly I can't discern too much of a difference. Is that because there isn't one and I could uninstall all but stock and move on ? Lol.

  • Thornfullessrose

    i dont like using any other browser except my froyo browser. all the other apps and stuff are pointless.

  • Billyrouth2000

    Xscope6 is by far the best

  • http://twitter.com/derekmas10 Derek Masten

    I have already installed and uninstalled Fennec twice. Beta, then v1. is this really “awesome” or does it just suck less?

  • El El Kool J

    ok.. umm “AWESOME and NO FLASH SUPPORT” Doesnt go together good..

    thats like saying “oh man this new sports car is sooo fast!! Now if they would just install a gas pedal I could use it to its full potential… :P

  • Meadowmt

    The war of the browsers…which is YOUR best one..

  • LightningSquirl

    Guys, you need to realize something:

    The other browsers on the market right now are based on top of the stock browser. Or at least Webkit.

    Fennec is built on top of the same rendering engine as FireFox (Gecko, if I'm not mistaken)

    Which means too things:

    1) It must actually include that engine in the apk., thus making it longer.

    2) It is not simply a “mod” or “enhancement” of the built in browser. But rather, basically built from scratch for Android.

    Therefore the project is taking much longer.

    Chill out people.

    • Cowpoke

      Some very good points there. It still seems like an exceedingly long development time (a year now?). However it does invalidate dev time comparisons to those other browsers since they use the built in renderer and libraries.

  • http://thisisjohncoffey.com GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    No Flash, no deal. {{-_-}}

  • Psikic

    One of the worst android apps I've ever downloaded. Extremely slow, constantly crashes, way too large, and overall useless.

  • Aamaral729

    I love it but why is it so huge?! I hate having to delete 20 apps just to be able to throw this on

  • FortitudineVincimus

    so, what is so “awesome” about it? faster is good, are updates prompts really “awesome” worthy? I don't read many details here that show how awesome it is. a list might help.

  • Wyldcat

    fennec screwed up my droid x, had to uninstall

  • snafu009

    My main complaint with the Fennec (at least this build, since I haven't used it before now) is that there is no progress bar, so I have no idea what's going on. It does have the loading “circle” but that doesn't imply how much of the page is yet to be processed.

  • Darkseider

    I'll pass. I ran the last “latest” Alpha build and besides the fact that it is 40 meg it was slow and kludgy as hell. The only way to make this browser faster is to open it while on a plane and then throw it out the window. Hopefully you're high enough that it will reach terminal velocity before it smashed into the earth below. Ooh and 40 meg? Seriously. 40 meg? Firefox for Windows/Linux is only about 10 meg.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      bwa ha ha ha lol

    • http://limpet.net/mbrubeck/ Matt Brubeck

      We definitely have a long way to go, but the latest pre-beta nightly builds are much faster than the alpha release. The final release will be faster still.

      Firefox for Linux/Windows is about 10 MB to dowload, but 30 MB installed. (Other browsers like Chrome and Opera are about the same size.) Firefox for Android takes up extra space right now because of how the Android packaging system works, but we're working on a fix for this.

      • Rader023

        Can't wait for that. Layout wise I enjoy Fennec very much. Just waiting for the speed to catch up to other browsers.

    • Hurrdurr

      it must be nice sitting on your a$$ waiting for development in the form of
      new apps and services to be delivered to you essentially through your front door
      while eating a big mac and slurping down a diet coke…because you lack
      the efficacy to do any of this yourself.

      Just sayin

  • Jdstell

    No Flash? What is this… Apple?!

    40MB?! Dolphin Browser (non-HD) is only 3.37MB.

    I'll stick with Dolphin for now. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eidylon Aaron Abdis

    Wonder how long till it shows up in the market…

  • http://twitter.com/TonyG916 Tony Garza

    40 + mb's…glad there's an option for sd storage

  • http://twitter.com/Pollita_Droid Erica Marchand

    meh, I'll stick to my dolphin browser hd. For me it's been the best

    • 1bad69z28

      I agree Dolphin BrowserHD has been good for me too untile something else comes out that I want to try.

    • http://twitter.com/TonyG916 Tony Garza

      why do you like it better than stock?

      • Anonymous

        I dont think so. Stock works fine for me!

      • El El Kool J

        I agree with you tony!! why would you even want to use another browser other than stock? the stock browser allows all features to work just fine even flash 10.1 :P ….

      • Buckeye71086

        I wonder this as well…Stock Browser on the Droid X zooms, especially with the 2.2 wifi improvements. I have tried dolphin and some others, but everything just seems so slooooooooooooow compared to stock.

      • http://twitter.com/tomabrad Tom

        Because you can switch your user agent to something other than Android. I for instance prefer to browse the web with desktop settings, so that I get the real interwebz, not the mobile crap

        • Okstateguy987

          You can do the same on stock, btw.

          in the browser:
          about:debug
          menu>settings>uastring

  • Nalpakj

    I'm playing with this for the first time…does anyone know how to actually load a full version of a page instead of the mobile version? I don't see anything related to this in the preferences.

    • Sn1p3r6992

      No eye deer. BUT. Go into stock browser…type “about:debug”, Hit enter. Nothing happens, but hit menu, then more, settings, scroll to the bottom where it says UAstring and select “Desktop”. Pages on STOCK browser will now load full site. If it starts loading mobile again just repeat the process.
      I’m sure there is a similar process for “fennec” but I don’t know how.

  • Albinosquirrelclimb

    Needs device recognition to properly display mobile websites. e.g. cnn, google reader. I have the same problem with Opera. Does anyone know a fix to this?

  • James_Murphy

    What a shame… Xscope update came out today that makes it “awesome” as well, plus works with Flash.

  • Cowpoke

    This is the slowest development process ever. What do they have, one developer working 2 minutes a day on it? Fede would be on Fennec V 10.4 now and it would make you pancakes and teach your dog to serve them to you in bed.

    • AndroidsOfTara

      Perhaps you don't realize that a web browser is significantly more complex than a launcher?

      • Cowpoke

        Perhaps you don't realize that people often times make exaggerated comparisons to elicit a upwards curve to the corners of others' mouths.

        I was serious about the pancakes though.

        This is still a very poor effort by the fennec team though considering there have been several other very nice BROWSERS for android for over half a year now. What is fennec going to bring that these others haven't been bringing for several months? This thing has been in dev for a year now, and its a bloated hunk of crap still. It reminds me of the *phone 4, everyone is waiting, waiting waiting, then when it comes out most realize that it took so long to come out that it was behind its competitors when it was finally released.

      • Jdstell

        Perhaps you don't realize how ridiculously awesome it would be if Fennec could make you pancakes and teach your dog to serve them to you in bed.

    • Cowpoke

      40 MB?? For a browser??

      • http://limpet.net/mbrubeck/ Matt Brubeck

        This is caused by a quirk in the Android NDK that causes apps with native libraries to take up about twice as much disk space as they should. (Google Earth, another NDK app, is huge for the same reason).

        We’re working on a fix for this, and the final version of Firefox for Android should take up about half as much disk space (or less!). But Firefox is a full-featured browser that includes its own rendering engine, JavaScript JIT compiler, and more – so it will always be larger than browsers like Dolphin that use the WebKit libraries already installed on the phone.

        • Anonymous

          Makes sense concerning the size of the app (and apps to SD is a big help, I’m still surprised how few applications can use this). Are you guys far enough along in dev to get a feeling on whether using your own rendering engine is going to be a significant improvement over the built in one?What else is Fennec going to bring, that users will notice, that current browsers do not?Is Fennec being developed to run smoothly on the Droid 1 and lesser devices, or is this being aimed at more powerful phones and tablets?

          • http://limpet.net/mbrubeck/ Matt Brubeck

            The WebKit and Gecko rendering engines each have different strengths. Some of the technologies Firefox supports that other Android browsers don’t include: SVG, WebM video, HTTP Strict Transport Security, HTML5 structural elements, and Web Sockets. Firefox for Android also has some unique user features like two-way sync, and extreme customizability.

            On the other hand, there are features WebKit supports and Gecko doesn’t. The nice thing about Android (compared to many other mobile platforms) is that users are allowed to choose.

  • Rain_king46

    You had me interested until your last comment. Boo! Come on guys, get that Flash working.

  • http://twitter.com/john_ecko John Sevilla

    Aw I got all excited until I read that last sentence. I'll just stick with xscope…flash works like a charm!

  • RealGame22

    Is it faster than stock? anybody kno

    • adam

      no stock browser is still faster then even dolphins browser.

  • http://www.myspace.com/abrielband Tim-o-tato

    I <3 firsters…..lol
    Fennec? Hmmmm….what's that? lol

  • Maansova

    Second

  • Hedney3

    First…..

    • Hedney3

      Wow someone once said id feel more complete..maybe just a little lol. never again

      • B-Do

        It’s like crack…

      • Tracy Wilborn

        You know you're going to want it again. ;-)

  • http://YourWebsite adam

    I rather have stock browser as that has being faster then internet atternative. So far dolphins i like it on g1 but on my droid 1 i rather use the stock. Fennic is to laggy still even with droid rooted 1.3ghz

  • http://www.thesaucereport.com BTT

    Will give it a shot, thanks!