Though news broke just last week about an alpha build of Mobile Firefox (codenamed Fennec) being released sometime this week for the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, many device owners have actually been demoing pre-alpha releases of the new browser for months. The last milestone was labeled M7, so when I saw today that version 0.8 was listed in my N810’s Application Manager, I assumed it was the alpha build. I figured that if the last milestone release was 0.7, the alpha would be 0.8 so that the beta could be 0.9 and the final could be version 1.0.
So I decided to install it.
Or try to, anyway.
I pressed "Install" then "OK" and walked away when the 9.5MB file began to download.
When I went to check on it a few minutes later, a window saying that Fennec couldn’t be installed was waiting for me. With no explanation about what happened to look over, I tapped the "Close" button and revisited the installation instructions.
"After a successful installation," it said, "you can launch Fennec from the Extras folder." With the browser being described as "the full rendering engine of Mozilla Firefox combined with a user interface designed to make browsing the web on a mobile device a rich and uncompromised experience" in the application details, how could I not check to see if it was there?
And it was!
If only it wasn’t broken, unable to update (despite the "able to update" status shown in the application summary), and only 606KB in size. Maybe I shouldn’t have walked away when the 9.5MB file began to download…
All that happens when I try to launch the browser is what you see in the first picture. A "Fennec – loading" window appears in the top-right corner for a few second, then it disappears and I get to admire the home screen.
I guess version 0.8 isn’t the alpha build, after all.