Mozilla releases Fennec mobile browser beta

Mozilla has released the first beta of its Fennec mobile browser, available for the Nokia Maemo platform.

Mozilla developer Stuart Parmenter wrote in his blog that he's "super happy" to announce the first release, Fennec 1.0 Beta.

He said he's now able to use Fennec as his primary browser on his Nokia N810 tablet computer, following optimisation to the code and platform, making it smoother and boosting zoom speed.

Last month, another Mozilla developer called the Fennec alpha "basically useless" on the Windows Mobile platform.

For the beta, Fennec's developers have improved startup performance and brought Firefox's TraceMonkey to the mobile platform, which offers JavaScript speed improvements.

"A number of performance hotspots have been identified that we'll continue to focus on until we ship final in fact, we have fixed a number of issues already for the next beta," said Parmenter.

Fennec also now features plug-ins for watching video and better bookmark management, while partner developers have created add-ons which allow the mobile system to sync data with a desktop browser.

"One of our main focuses for the next milestone will be on polishing the user interface areas like the extension manager will get a face lift and we'll start working more on some of the usability issues people have reported," he added.

Mozilla is yet to announce when the next beta or indeed a full version might be released, but rumours have suggested it could be released for Symbian phones by the middle of this year.

If you don't have an N810, you can still download Fennec to play with on your PC here.

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