Firefox mobile Alpha 3 out for Windows Mobile

The folks at Mozilla have released the Alpha 3 build of Fennec, aka the mobile Firefox browser.

Much-improved, says Mozilla's Brad Lassey (opens in new tab) (read our early Q&A with him) are start-up times, better panning, and some support for phones other than the HTC Touch Pro.

Go get the CAB file here (opens in new tab), and if out there's running a brand-spanking new Touch Pro 2, let us know how it looks on there. (And remember, you can play with the Fennec lastest desktop emulator here.)

Phil Nickinson

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • Is this still for Touch pro users, and possibly touch pro 2? I want to try it on my Treo Pro.
  • I have Sprint TP1. I find Fennec too slow in rendering compared to skyfire and buit-in Opera. Is there a way to speed up render? Also it stops responding periodically.
  • Skyfire does rendering server side, so it's not exactly a real comparison...
  • Ahem...and what about the built-in Opera browser on the TP1-it's just as fast as Skyfire.
  • It's also not alpha 3 though.
  • Looks nice on my X1, the rendering formatting seems really good. Obviously the interface is horrendously slow though.
  • I used the previous Alpha of Fennec oon a Touch Pro and I thought it was great. It's not as fast as Opera, but it's pretty impressive for an Alpha version (one that usually isn't publically released). I thought mobile browsers would all have the same look, but Fennec's interface is really unique and great in my opinion.
  • Maybe this alpha just doesn't like the custom rom I'm using on my TP1. The first site I went to (Gizmodo) crashed the browser and the second site (WMExperts) crashed Fennec and rebooted the phone.
  • Loaded this on the storage card for my TP2, because it installs at a whopping 26 megabytes. Found it to be slow, and very buggy -- could be that it was on the storage card, could be that it's beta. Lots of "We're sorry but Windows had to kill fennec" type messages after soft-reset. It also tried to take over as default browser from Opera. Uninstalled, waiting for the next build - needs a bit more time in the oven - or an install footprint about half that size.
  • That is probably a combination of it being still in alpha stage and it being on the memory card. The TP2 comes with like 512 mb of rom, and 26 sounds pretty big, but please try running it from the onboard rom and update us on how it runs on the TP2.
  • Ran OK on my HTC Kaiser albeit slowly.
  • I have a TP2 as well on the Telus network. I installed the program on both the SD card and main memory and found that the browser ran equally about the same speed.. or lack there of any. Very slow load times and page scrolling was choppy, jagged and usually took 20secs to load if you scrolled down to far. Page layout looked identical to what you see on a desktop computer, - the one good thing I liked. Accelerometor does not work with the browser. Zoom levels were abit wonky, sometimes you could not get the correct zoom level on some pages where you could see a page's blog without needing to do no side scrolling. Random crashes, lock ups and freezes. To top it off, Fennec is a resource hog and it just made everything on my phone run extrememly slow if I did not close it out right.
  • It was very buggy and had negative effects on other parts of the OS.. like pushing the open keyboard to the bottom of the screen so once it was open it was impossible to close it. Caused severely bad reset times and slowdown after startup. Also the 2 minutes it took to boot is unacceptable. Might as well keep these alpha versions as emulators since they are practically unusable in every sense on the device.
  • I like how I can view websites normally, but it very slow and a bit hard to navigate. It should be great once they work out the bugs.
  • Tested on my HTC Touch Diamond 2 installed on the microSD.
    First it took about 90~120 seconds to start (first boot) and then it worked in portrait mode. No gsensor support made me turn off the application and apply a tweak (TD2 Tools) - after that gsensor was avaliable to rotate the screen, working well.
    The on screen keyboard wasn't showing correctly, so i've re-started the browser. Made a search using google and it took about 30 seconds to return the rendered Google Results page (in stock Opera 9.5 it tooked just the half).
    Fennec a3 is really slow and hard for zooming (double tap didn't bring me a desired zoom level) and panning (sometimes activating the side menus instead of just move the screen).
    One thing to discuss: aparently, Fennec took just about 5% of my avaliable RAM (info from HTC default taskmanager)... is that right? If so, maybe its poor performance is related by a process that overload the Qualcomm MSM72XX chipset (and not RAM).
  • Good point Seidi Why HTC decided to make a "new" device with it's predecessors innards makes no logical sense, as, on the user side, we get stuck with a bulkier device with only an incremental improvement to the experience with a better touchscreen. Not worth it at all. Coming with a CPU designed back on '07 and coming with the same amount of ROM/RAM as the Touch Pro, which sucked BTW and whose CPU was also developed back in '07, HTC is really dropping in the internal development department. All they are saving themselves is time to get their products to market with these cheap parts. I've read a lot of people begging for Snapdragon chips, and while the speed of those chips is tantalizing, power management is not in HTC's vocabulary. Maybe a TI OMAP3 processor would be the way to go. Get off Qualcomm's ... The Pro2 is looking to only get 4 hours talk time on a 1500 mAH batttery! I can get longer talk time with similarly capable device (pre) that's always connected to the internet with only a 1100 mAH battery. Step the eff up, HTC! I was geeked when I first saw the Touch Pro2 because I thought, "finally, an equipment maker finally will use internal parts superior to the OS instead of the other way around." A lesson in judging a book by its cover. Like a beautiful blonde, only cute on the surface. I used one today, but found the same nagging feeling that even with the minimum installed at retail, it'd get bogged down over time.
  • It's not bad. I have the Graphics Chip Drivers installed on my TP2 so I think it runs a bit faster than most. It only took about 15 seconds for Fennec to boot up the first time. The pages lad a bit slow...but thats PROBABLY due to me being in a non-3G area(hopefully that'll change tomorrow). Scrolling is DEFINITELY a slower than I'd like...but then's not exactly dynamic using PIE 6 NOR Opera for all that matter. It's best for me personally on skyfire. For now, I'd much rather use skyfire than this(especially for the flash support) but this isn't a bad browser in my opinion. Y! Messenger still loads as a mobile page though(except in opera)