Apr 27 AT 9:50 PM Matt Demers 39 Comments

Official Fennec Pre-Alpha Foxes Its Way to the Public

fennec banner

While we’ve reported Mozilla’s Fennec browser being leaked and compiled in the past, the company has just released a “pre-alpha” version of the browser to the public. Those who wish to grab the .apk and start browsing can do so by visiting this text link from your phone. The release comes via the blog of Vladimir Vukicevic, an “Infrastructuralist” at Mozilla whose blog has a fair amount of posts about Firefox’ little cousin.

Support includes installing extensions, which I find very cool. Warnings abound: it’s extremely buggy at the moment, but right now I’d take something from the developer over some fan-compiled projects.

This build should be considered “pre-alpha”, so there are some warnings and caveats:

  • We’ve only really tested this on the Motorola Droid and the Nexus One.
  • It will likely not eat your phone, but bugs might cause your phone to stop responding, requiring a reboot.
  • Memory usage of this build isn’t great — in many ways it’s a debug build, and we haven’t really done a lot of optimization yet.  This could cause some problems with large pages, especially on low memory devices like the Droid.
  • You’ll see the app exit and relaunch on first start, as well as on add-on installs; this is a quirk of our install process, and we’re working to get rid of it.
  • You can’t open links from other apps using Fennec; we should have this for the next build.
  • This build requires Android 2.0 or above, and likely an OpenGL ES 2.0 capable device

Vladimir Vukićević

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Source: Vladimir Vukićević

Matt is a Toronto blogger who enjoys writing opinion columns about culture, comics and of course, Android. You can find more of Matt's work on his personal site.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Antwan Reynolds

    Man I cant wait to ditch my HTC Hero and try this on the Evo 4G. Bring them on!!!!

  • http://Website sct

    Man for a pre-alpha its pretty decent! Too bad it doesn’t any zoom buttons/multi touch making it almost useless for browsing the net.

    • http://Website NotRelevent

      Not quite. Double tapping works just find. No need for useless multi-touch gimmicks

  • http://sweeterskins.net Lemon

    Hangy and laggy but you can taste the awesome sauce on this thing already. Can’t wait for the betas.

  • http://txhoudini.com Eric Weiss

    Hmmm… it won’t even open on my N1

    • stalker

      You need to free up some space to launch firefox I think.

    • http://Website commodoor

      It won’t start because you installed it on sd. Fenec only runs from internal memory.

      Im using cm and i can move apps to internal memory and vice versa ;)

      • http://Website DarkPyroGuy_09

        Noob question but how is that done, move apps in between sd and internal?

  • stalker

    actually I was waiting for this pre-alpha from beginning. But after reading some comments about it. I think I should not install it. Can anybody tell me how much space it occupies on memory? I’ve some 50MB left.

    • http://Website NotRelevent

      Ha you’ll about that much to fully install it. Or maybe a little more. The build I have running is 43MB installed, but said build is not a debug build..which tends to make it a little bigger. So probably about 55MB should be a safe min to have.

      • stalker

        geeeee… I think its not that big. I’ve downloaded .apk file its around 10 MB. After installing it occupies around 29-30MB space.

  • http://Website josh

    this is quite a decent browser for pre-alpha. it is jumping up on the page here so that the text field is out of view when i start typing, and it refuses to let me capitalize anything, but i found out it seems you can zoom by double tapping, and the UI itself shows a lot of potential. basically, it’s got a lot of potential, but i cant see myself using it as my main browser until some bugs are worked out; i cant wait for this to be more developed though

  • http://Website James

    10.25 mb?! Really?? That’s retarded!

    • http://Website Neal

      29 MB!? 29 MB!? where are we going to get 29 MB? The only way to get 29 MB is a bolt of lightning……

    • SpykeZ

      Do you really have THAT many apps installed on your droid that you can’t spare 10MB?

      • stalker

        If that is the case then I will be surprised that how the phone is running.

        • http://Website sw1storm

          Once installed and running it will take upabout 30 to 40 mb

  • http://Website Jon

    i was lookin forward 2 this but when i saw that it required 2.0 it annoyed me… feel like i wasted $$$ on MT3G we aint never gonna get the update

    • http://Website po3tic just1ce

      Intelligence, thy name is retrospect

    • http://Website GuyNoir

      Get your phone rooted and on cyanogenmod! I’m running Android 2.1 on my MyTouch.

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

    Fennec seems to have problems starting if it’s installed to SD card (using Cyanogen or other mods). If you have a custom ROM with install-to-SD, try installing it to your phone’s internal storage instead.

  • http://Website josh

    Doesn’t open. Ended up being 29 mb in my internal memory. Had to uninstall 12 apps to get it installed. Then… nothing.

    • http://Website josh

      For the above… I’mon droid running droidmod

  • stalker

    I’ve installed fennec a.k.a firefox for android on my N1 (not rooted. coz I don’t like rooting). It’s running fine. Started without any crash or problem on first start. Start up speed is little slow. But browsing speed is far better than the default browsers of android 2.1. Still zooming distort the images. I like its interface over opera mini. So simple and best. Thanks to firefox guys who made it possible on android.

  • http://Website skyrkt

    Doesn’t work on my Hero with the latest DC rom. :(

  • http://Website Jay

    Wouldn’t even open on the Droid Eris with 2.1. Not surprised… The phone is slow as hell.

  • http://Website Tes

    Freed up 40.38MB and it STILL says I don’t have enough space on a brand new HTC Desire.

    What gives?

    • stalker

      I had 50+ MB freed memory on my N1 when I installed fennec. I don’t know what are the minimum requirement.

  • http://Website Mark

    Just use Opera Mini 5 (or Opera Mobile 10, if they release it to end users). It’s WAY faster (and better) than bloaty old Firefox..

  • http://Website Josh

    Works on my Samsung Moment running the leaked 2.1 (DD10) but it’s slow and a memory hog so I didn’t test it out for long. Looking forward to a more refined version!

  • http://Website josh

    Anyone know the minimum requirements. Especially memory?

    • stalker

      Yeah.. it is 10 MB of package which will occupy 30MB space after installation on device. Don’t know about RAM requirement. But its working fine on my N1 which has 512MB RAM.

  • http://Website Hans

    I understand that this is still a pre-alpha product, but it’s currently almost useless. The soft keyboard doesn’t show up when I want to type something. Numbers don’t show when using the physical keyboard. It’s extremely laggy. I love Firefox and can’t wait for a beta release when these problems have been fixed.

  • http://Website ronabong

    Not bad. I never heard of fennc before so I gave it a try. Lots of potential and i hope future releases will be better. Lots of problems as others have stated as expected from a beta. Keep up the good work.

  • Pingback: Mozilla wants your feedback on Firefox for Android – Android and Me()

  • Pingback: Mozilla wants your feedback on Firefox for Android | Androidheadlines.com()

  • http://www.kacaudah.com Valentin Battuello

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site. You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Cheers!

  • Pingback: » Mozilla lanserar Fennec Pre-Alpha()