Mobile Firefox will support geolocation

There's an old online real-estate joke with the punchline "Geolocation, geolocation, geolocation," and we've gotten word that geolocation will be supported out of the box with the Firefox mobile browser, aka Fennec.

Firefox will use Google Location Service and while it won't require an add-on to make it functional, it will ask your permission before giving your location to a Web site. (If you've ever used an iPhone or iPod Touch, you're used to this. But in Firefox's case, permission will be asked in a drop-down dialog box as seen above, and not in an obtrusive modal box.)

Triangulation will take place using GPS, WiFi, cell tower or manual entry, and geolocation also will be included in the upcoming Firefox 3.5 desktop browser.

From Mozilla's Doug Turner:

We are happy to announce that Firefox 3.5 and Fennec will be using Google Location Service. We found that we agreed on the many privacy concerns around location. Do check out Mozilla’s privacy policy and Google’s privacy policy. I am pretty excited about these policies I think they are going to be the industry standard when it comes to network based geolocation providers.

Doug does an excellent job of explaining the technical details of it all, including privacy concerns, on his blog, and Google's got more tech specs on its end.

And speaking of Firefox/Fennec, there's a new alpha nightly build available (HTC Touch Pro only, folks) that can now render pages, say some testers. Give it a shot, but be sure to back up your phone first. Update: As for the future of the Firefox mobile browser? Here's what Mozilla just gave us:

"We are on track for shipping an alpha in the near future and a beta sometime this summer, and are working toward a general release later this year. As with all our releases at Mozilla, we'll stick to our 'ship it when its ready' policy."


Reader comments

Mobile Firefox will support geolocation


Does anybody care anymore?

With all the browsers being released this is going to have to be one heck of a browser to get me to even consider using it over Opera 10. They're losing ground.

(we'll have Opera v10 before "Fennec" even reaches beta)

I would drop every browser on WM for this right now or in a year....Wake me up when Opera doesnt crash after 5 minutes of heavy use.

Are you awake?

Even if it did crash every 5 minutes on a good ROM, skyfire and iris are excellent alternatives.

Don't kid yourself - skyfire and iris both still suck when compared to Mobile Safari. Iris may render things really well, but it's really slow at everything and the menu system is byzantine to the point of ridiculousness. Skyfire is similar. Opera DOES crash every five minutes, but it's the smoothest WM browser and is the most successful at non-stylus navigation.

But the point is that no WM browser holds a candle to Mobile Safari at the moment and I doubt Fennec will, either.

Uh, I used Opera 9 on Facebook and a few tech sites all morning... All three tabs open, 2 of which had flash properly displayed on them. I'm not understanding how this is "unstable."

Oh wait, mobile safari? Nevermind, you are one of the brainwashed Apple smartphone n00bs with a browser that doesn't support flash, on a phone that only recently started to be able to do things my old Motorola RAZR could do when it first came out.

Hush troll, I haven't seen safari out perform anything but PIE yet.

You are calling multiple users and multiple serious reviewers elsewhere "trolls" and "n00bs" for noting the known fact that PEAR is VERY crash and freeze prone? Lol. Read up at XDAdevelopers and PPCGeeks. And "hush" yourself.

With this using google yet again and google dominating search and adding geolocation to their searches soon Google will know what you are going to do or think next before you do...