Last time I checked out Firefox Mobile for Google Android, the browser (code-named Fennec) was still pretty rough around the edges. That’s not surprising, since the browser is still at the pre-alpha testing stage. But as it turns out the browser is getting a little better every day — and now you can keep up with the latest updates by installing nightly builds.
Basically, the developers put out a new version of the browser every day, and while you won’t necessarily find a ton of new features in each build, the team is working on making the browser more efficient and improving stability.
I installed the latest nightly today and found that it has the new Start Page I mentioned a few weeks ago. It also loads a little more quickly and the user interface is a bit more responsive — although it’s still a bit too sluggish to use comfortably. Pages render pretty quickly though.
One thing that I’m less than thrilled with is the way Fennec currently handles zooming. Basically there are two zoom levels: in and out. And if you’re zoomed in, you may still have a hard time reading text. There’s also no support for pinch-to-zoom, at least not yet. Hopefully these issues will be worked out in future nightly builds.
You can check out my hands-on video with the latest build of Fennec for Android after the break. You can also download the latest Fennec nightly builds for Android from the Mozilla FTP. Just grab the file labeled fennec.apk, copy it to your Android device, and locate it with a file browser to install Fennec. Make sure to uninstall any previous versions of Fennec first — there’s no auto-update feature yet.