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Android is on Mozilla's road map, but don't expect Fennec anytime soon

Word's been going around that Firefox will have a browser in beta in February. That's a bit odd, as I've been following the development of Fennec for Maemo and Windows Mobile -- it's being developed openly -- and have seen neither hide nor hair of it. So it looks like a German Mozilla community site may be a little ahead of itself in saying that a beta for Android would be out in February. Here's the response I got from Mozilla U.S.:

Android is on our mobile road map, but the German reports were a bit exaggerated. The Android version of Fennec is not yet in alpha so "on the way" is premature. 

Put it this way: The Windows Mobile version hit Alpha status last May and still isn't in Beta form yet. And here's another way to look at it: Mozilla's weekly meetings date back to October 2007. If we were going to see Fennec (that's the code name for the mobile version of Firefox) in a matter of weeks, we'd have heard about it by now.

But that doesn't mean we're not looking forward to the day Firefox arrives on Android. In the meantime, check out the Q&A I did with Moz's Brad Lassey about a year ago.

  • My experience with the first beta of Fennec on the N900 was somewhat poor. It was much slower than the built-in browser on Maemo in every way possible, from startup to page rendering. It's going to take a lot of work for Mozilla to improve on the performance of any current default mobile browser.
  • Right now the best browser available for the Droid is xScope. Check it out.
  • I love Firefox on the desktop, but Fennec is pretty awful the last time I checked on the Nokia 810. In fact, for a internet device, the default browser (also a Mozilla browser) is a complete let-down. The Webkit based Android and iPhone browsers are soooooo much better.
  • Totally agree on xScope. Developer is super responsive too.