Thursday Poll: What is your favorite Android Browser?

How have we not asked this question yet?  Shame on us.  With so many quality options out there for your Android browsing pleasure, we’d love to hear what your favorite is.  Is it Skyfire and their interesting take on Flash videos?  Firefox and their ever-evolving mobile version?  Dolphin, the standard?  Is xScope the innovator?  Or are we missing something fabulous altogether?

Let us know which browser you prefer, but beyond that, we want to know why it’s your favorite.  Why is this the browser for you?  If you could change anything in a browser, what would it be?

What is your favorite Android Browser?

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Fennec Leaves Alpha, Trims Down as Firefox Beta

It looks like Mozilla is ready to ditch this odd Fennec name and start to align everything with the release of Firefox beta for mobile.

If you’ve been using the Fennec alpha that keeps auto-updating itself, you’ve actually been on “beta” for a couple of days now.  In fact, if you keep your current Fennec and allow it to update, you’ll be on version 4.0b2pre which appears to be newer than this official Firefox beta.  If you want the sweet Firefox logo though, you will need to uninstall Fennec and then go with this official version.

Visit the link below to download the first version of Firefox beta (4.0b1):

No word yet if this version will prompt you for updates as Fennec did, but we’ll assume that it will.

Release notes here.  List of supported devices here.

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

Fennec Hits Official Alpha, Download it Now

Firefox Mobile or Fennec, hit official “alpha” today for all Android phones running at least version 2.0.  While this is still a very early build, the Fennec team has decided that it is worthy of an announcement and some video action.  I’ll also say that after just a few minutes of time with it, you can see that it has come a long way.  What a great browser this is going to be.

Download it now by visiting this link from your phone’s browser.



Fennec Nears Alpha Release, Beta Release Coming this Fall

We’ll probably never get over this browser kick that we’re on, especially when the guys working on Firefox mobile (Fennec) keep releaseing new builds and teasing us with future release dates.  How does an official “alpha” sound? A “beta”?  Neither are ready just yet, but the alpha should be within the the next “few weeks” and the beta should drop “this fall” according to one of their lead developers.

Some of the features already being ironed out…

  • Firefox Sync is now built in – sync tabs, bookmarks, and history from your computer to your phone, no add-on required!
  • The new Find In Page command is available through the site menu (or by pressing Control+F on a hardware keyboard).
  • You can now share links through Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, or email. (The final version of this feature will also let you send links using native Android or Maemo apps.)
  • Fennec 2 can use your phone’s address book to make it easy to enter phone numbers and email adresses into web forms. (This works on Maemo now; support for Android will be added later.)
  • We’re adding multi-touch gestures. Pinch zoom has landed for alpha; later releases will also include multi-touch swipe gestures to go to the top or bottom of the current page, or navigate between pages.

Read more on the first alpha Fennec release at Matt Brubek’s blog.

Future builds and downloads including a pre-alpha of Fennec 2 can be found here.

Cheers BAoxymoron!

Download: New Fennec Build for Android

While Firefox was in the middle of showing off version 4 of their new web browser which features a fancy little feature called “Tab Candy” our readers were digging into their FTP site and finding new builds of Fennec for Android.  As of July 24th, a new build is available and as you’ll see after installing it, is much more polished than the one we wrote about back in May.

Download:  Fennec.apk

Cheers Allen!

Firefox Mobile Releasing Nightly Builds

It has been a couple of weeks since the first pre-alpha Firefox Mobile (Fennec) was released and only about 10 days since we were promised nightly builds to start rolling out.  Well folks, nightly builds have arrived!

Download: Fennec.apk

This latest version might be 1000x more polished than the previous pre-alpha.  While it still has miles to cover before it becomes official, you can really start to see this thing shaping up into quite the browser.

It should be noted that these nightly builds will not auto-update or prompt you to update; you will need to just continue to check back and download the newest version.


Fennec on Android Using Your Feedback

A new developer has joined in on the quest to bring Firefox to Android and he’s put together a list of features that they plan to attack in future builds.  Actually, he sort of polled users on Twitter to get their thoughts on that pre-alpha build we saw a week or so ago and then placed them in order of importance. Here are a few of the highlights…

Plans for multi-touch…

Zoom and multi-touch: Pinch zoom gestures are coming! We are reviewing a patch for animated multi-touch (pinch) zooming on Qt-based devices, and testing similar code on Android. (Maemo devices have no multi-touch, so we use their volume buttons to zoom. That code hasn’t been ported to Android, so only double-tap zoom was working in the preview build.)

We also had some requests to fit text to the screen when zoomed in, like the Android browser. Today Brad Lassey and Ben Stover released the Easy Reading add-on that does exactly that. We might make this a built-in option in Fennec once it is fast and reliable enough.

On the size of the app…

Size: A ten megabyte download (over 30 MB installed) is not huge for a desktop browser, but it’s hefty for a mobile app – especially on Android, where apps are saved to limited onboard memory.

Shrinking Fennec is possible, but not trivial. Some of the library and toolkit code in our build is probably unused and could be removed. And we could try minifying our Java­Script source, like many websites do. Michael Wu hopes current efforts like Omnijar and Thumb-2 (bug 563751) will cut the installed size approximately in half.

Those lovely Firefox add-ons…

Add-ons: We’re just starting Fennec 1.1 beta testing, and most of our add-ons are not yet updated for version 1.1. Unfortunately, this meant that many add-ons were not available to our first Android previewers. This should be fixed over the next few weeks.

On Flash support…

Flash: The Flash plugin is not yet included in our Android builds, but it will be supported eventually. Firefox for Maemo already works with Flash, although enabling it does cause performance problems on some sites. (We are working on fixing that with major changes to our graphics code.)

Overall, I’m liking the addition of another developer.  Nothing says, “Let’s make this happen!” than by adding another mind to the cause.  There are also talks of releasing nightly builds which we’ll definitely be looking forward to.

Source: Matt Brubeck