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Cellphones Handhelds Mozilla

Firefox Mobile Reaches 1.0 198

Majix writes "Firefox Mobile, the mobile browser developed by Mozilla based on the same engine as in the recently released Firefox 3.6, has finally hit version 1.0. The first device to be officially supported is the Nokia N900. With a long list of features, Firefox Mobile looks to be the most complete mobile browser to date. Highlights include the familiar Awesome Bar, Weave Sync for sharing your browser state between your PC and mobile, and of course tabbed browsing and Firefox add-ons. With the Nokia 900 and Firefox Mobile 1.0, even Flash content including the normal YouTube site is working, showing that a mobile browser does not have to equal a compromised Internet experience."
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Firefox Mobile Reaches 1.0

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  • Nokia N900 win (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dcposch ( 1438157 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @05:32PM (#30965662)
    ...the N900 is an amazing platform. I know it from a computational photography class at my university: http://graphics.stanford.edu/courses/cs448a-10/ [stanford.edu] It runs a full Linux distro, has a 5MP camera, and now with FF 1.0 I consider it the first phone with a real browser. (IPhone/ITouch/IPad doesn't count because there's no flash and they don't support any browser extensions. Once I can run Flash, Firebug, and Adblock, then it's real.)

    I think it deserves a shoutout especially because
    *) Nokia is truly awful at promoting their products
    *) a certain company that's great at marketing is making all sorts of splash with the antithesis of this phone. it's called the iPad; it runs a Unix derivative, but is an affront to the Unix philosophy. it somehow manages to be three times the size of an N900 with a tenth the functionality.

    I think that N900 + FF Mobile is a real tool in an ocean of toys.
  • Re:Symbian (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @06:01PM (#30965860) Journal
    By far the path of least resistance.

    The hard part of Firefox Mobile is the fact that Firefox itself has gotten a bit pudgy. All sorts of optimizing and cutting down and whatnot has been necessary to get it to fit on phone hardware(on the plus side, the fruits of this process should be applicable to just about any small embedded device, and possibly back to desktop Firefox). The second hard part is porting to all the various oddball environments running on different phones.

    The N900 pretty much eliminates the second hard part; because Maemo is basically debian, complete with X and a fair slice of GTK(QT in the future), running on ARM. Its power is limited compared to your standard X86 PC; but it is otherwise probably the closest thing to a normal Linux environment that will ever be available to the general public in phone form(at least in the near future. OpenMoko is nearly dead, the hacks to get at the standard linux that runs under Android are hacks, and anything else is some tiny volume dev-board device.). This makes it a good environment for real-world testing of the effort to make Firefox work within mobile constraints, without the large effort of substantial porting.

    I would assume that the long term plan does involve porting to more environments, because otherwise this is a whole lot of work to put into making sure that Maemo has a nicer browser; but each presents various difficulties. iPhone is almost certainly out, because Apple forbids alternate browsers(they do allow 3rd party programs that put a slightly different face on mobile Safari; but that isn't at all the same thing). Android wants everything done in the java-eque world of Dalvic, with minimal facility for running native Linux applications, so that would be a major porting effort. Symbian has substantial market share(at least for now); but it doesn't resemble any of the environments where Firefox already runs all that much(plus, more practically, S60 devices tend to have specs a bit behind the bleeding edge. The fact that this works is a feather in S60's cap; but if you have a browser that has some dieting to do, there isn't much point in porting until the dieting is done). It really remains to be seen if doing a WinMo port is worth it at all. If WinMo 7 turns out to be genuinely interesting, they probably will. If 7 is just more of 6, WinMo will likely just bleed away into a niche of tightly corporate-controlled Exchange appendages, and Corporate IT lockdown world has never really been Firefox's native habitat.
  • Re:??? Ok then... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cmunic8r99 ( 1271724 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @06:04PM (#30965882)
    I've never used Firefox Mobile, and probably won't for a long time. Your insistence that Safari and Opera are complete web browsers, however, is laughable. Mobile Safari is by no means a 'complete' browser: no support for add-ons, missing Flash support, etc. Opera Mini isn't even a true web browser - it's a redisplay app like Skyfire, and neither of them are all that great. I can't talk about Netfront because I've not used it either. Got a download link?
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @06:13PM (#30965934) Journal

    The problem is that web developers work for the marketing arm, and nothing says success like shiny. All the demos and development, I'm certain, are run on large monitors with a local connection to the server. hey really ought to require all web developers to run on a 100kb connection with 150ms ping times, with a P-III-350 machine. Only then will you get a set of web pages which will be tolerable on smaller devices.

    Take a look at Rainforest Cafe's website. If you don't have flash, they don't want you - period. No way to get restaurant locations or information (heaven forbid you should want to check that on your mobile) at all without flash. Look at any major website - NYT, eBay, /. - you're loading hundreds of kilobytes of css definitions before you even get to page contents.

    I have the same rule today with my companies website I had 7 years ago when I started: Every page should load in 10 seconds or less on a 56k dialup connection. It won't be great on a mobile device, but its very viewable - and usable. People still complement me on my site, despite it being out of date, and I suspect it's because (1) it's pretty (2) everything is easy to find and (3) it loads almost instantly on just about any connection.

  • Re:??? Ok then... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by heffrey ( 229704 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @07:02PM (#30966284)

    On certain devices (e.g. anything smaller than iPad) a redisplay browser allows you to read the web quicker and more effectively than a full browser.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @07:43PM (#30966520) Journal

    With the Nokia 900 and Firefox Mobile 1.0, even Flash content including the normal YouTube site is working

    Given that the browser that comes out of the box in N900 is already Mozilla-based (in fact, the extension install screen looks conspicuously like Firefox), and can already play Flash, and use ABP, what advantage does this thing have over it?

  • Re:Highlights? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Cruxus ( 657818 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @08:12PM (#30966746) Journal
    The Awesome Bar is pretty awesome; I don't know why there's been so much negativity about it here on Slashdot. Rather than organizing a bunch of bookmarks, I just remember a few key phrases from a website's URL or page title. This is especially useful where I work because we have many web apps in various stages of development, and the URL varies by port number. I just type in the port and get the version I want. Also I don't notice much of a slow-down on any of the PCs I've used it on.
  • Re:One device? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rodgerd ( 402 ) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @04:44AM (#30968904) Homepage

    Microsoft is more my friend than Apple, yet they seem to escape such suggestions in the free software world.

  • Re:I want one... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:35PM (#30987418)

    I second this...I am generally a Windows/.NET developer by profession (don't hate me) but have always dabbled in Linux...not enough though to be truly proficient. I bought an N900 to help me bridge the gap...easier to learn when one has a cool toy. When I finally get around to feeling comfortable in most things linux I am sure I'll love the phone even more. My laptop has been relegated to work only pretty much now, the N900 does everything else very well.

Friction is a drag.