Mozilla late last night posted the first beta release of Fennec, its mobile version of the Firefox Web browser.
The Fennec 1.0 beta 1 release currently is only available for one mobile device, the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, which runs Nokia's Maemo open source operating system. But beta versions have been released for Windows, Mac and Linux desktop PCs, to let users and developers experiment with the new application and start building the all-important Firefox plug-ins.
The beta release notes are available online.
- faster application start-up time.
- faster panning and zooming.
- improved bookmark managing and new bookmark folders.
- plug-in support.
Mozilla released the Fennec alpha version for the Nokia tablet last October. In February, it released a Windows Mobile preview (or "pre-alpha") version that almost immediately ran into major problems, apparently because of the way Windows handles memory allocation.
TraceMonkey is only one part of the recent performance optimization work found in the beta release. The developers have been looking widely and deeply into making the browser as fast as possible at all levels. Nearly all of the improvements for Fennec on Maemo are directly applicable to Fennec on Windows Mobile, according to Mozilla developer Mark Finkle, writing in his blog. One area is an improved rendering engine, resulting in faster pageload times and greatly improved panning.