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Mozilla Fennec review

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Manufacturer: Mozilla

Mozilla this week put out its first beta release of Fennec, the mobile version of its Firefox web browser. Here's our review.

Mozilla this week put out its first beta release of Fennec, the mobile version of its Mozilla Firefox web browser. Here's our review, with pictures.

We took a quick look at Firefox's little sibling, and we have to say Fennec is a very impressive and easy to use browser that maximizes your small screen space.

Fennec uses touchscreen features such as zooming, panning and scrolling. It also embraces a lot of features you'd expect in a mobile Firefox, including the ability to download add-ons, the awesome bar, easy bookmark management, and even about:config access for power customisation.

Mozilla has even put TraceMonkey in Fennec, the same JavaScript engine found in Firefox 3.1, to speed up your browsing experience. Here are some more of highlights you can expect with Fennec.

Mozilla Fennec installation

Add-ons: If you are into customising Firefox with add-ons, you'll love this feature in Fennec. Right now, the only add-ons available include Twitter, a URL fixer to combat typos, and a few security programs. We downloaded the Twitter add-on for Fennec and found that getting add-ons worked just like in Firefox: the add-on dialogue box appears and we choose to install it.

After that, Fennec automatically restarts. Once Twitter was activated, we entered a Tweet in the address bar and clicked on a little green button to post. This is a great solution and allows you to easily post a URL that you're viewing. The Twitter add-on automatically shrinks the address using tinyURL.

Mozilla Fennec settings

Menus: Fennec's menus are easily accessible by moving the web page you are viewing to the left. This uncovers a side bar with buttons for back, forward, favorites, and advanced preferences. In the preferences section you can manage add-ons, extensions, themes, and plugins. You can also manage your privacy and security settings including JavaScript, passwords, cookies, and so on.

Mozilla Fennec Awesome bar

Awesome bar: Taking one of the most popular features from Firefox, Fennec's awesome bar remembers where you've been and allows you easy access to these sites. As an added feature, you can also search with Google, Yahoo, and Wikipedia right from the awesome bar.

Mozilla Fennec bookmarks

Bookmarks management: The bookmarks icon is right next to the address bar and lets you save and manage your favourite sites. To go to a bookmark, you just click on the icon and then select your site.

Mozilla Fennec maximising screen space

Maximising Screen Space: Fennec is all about maximising your screen space. Once you start to scroll down a web page, the address bar disappears so you can see more of the page you're viewing.

NEXT PAGE: tabs and video support >>

Mozilla Fennec Expert Verdict »

Nokia N810 Internet Tablet running OS2008 ("chinook" or "diablo")
Windows, Mac OS X, Linux PC

It looks as though Mozilla Fennec may prove a worthy rival to Opera Mini. If you're dying for a sneak peak at Fennec you can download the real thing for the Nokia N810 tablet or emulators for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.

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