Mozilla is continuing to work on a mobile version of Firefox for Google Android and Maemo devices. The project, which is code-named Fennec, has been in the works for a while, but one of the developers says that we should see the first alpha build of Fennec 2.0 soon, once some key bugs have been worked out.
In a blog post, Matt Brubeck also points out some of the other changes that you’ll find in the latest builds of Fennec. That includes a new Find in Page feature which lets you search for tex, the ability to share links through Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, or email, and the ability to use your phone’s address book to make entering phone numbers and email addresses faster.
Multitouch capabilities are also baked in, although right now that just means pinch to zoom. More multitouch gestures should be available in the future.
One of the coolest features is the built in Firefox Sync utility, which will synchronize your bookmarks, history, and open tabs with the desktop version of Firefox. While you need to install the Firefox Sync add-on to a desktop browser to enable this feature, it comes built into the mobile browser.
Mozilla still has a lot of work to do. While Fennec is running faster and more smoothly every time I test it, I never keep it loaded on my Nexus One — and that’s because the app takes up more storage space than any other app I run on my phone. Mozilla is either going to need to reduce the footprint of Fennec or give users a pretty compelling reason to install an enormous app which in many ways simply duplicates the functionality of the web browser that comes built into every Android pone.
On the other hand, phone makers are including more storage space and RAM and faster processors all the time. Maybe the point will be moot soon.
You can check out the latest builds of Fennec at the Mozilla FTP site.
via Droid Life