OPEN SOURCE WEB BROWSER Firefox has appeared in "pre-alpha" form for the Android operating system.
In a blog post, Firefox developer Vladimir Vukićević announced that an early build, presently called Fennec, has been tested on Motorola's Droid and Milestone as well as Google's Nexus One.
Since it's such an early alpha release, the team is quick to put down their efforts, saying that while the browser won't "eat your phone" it might crash phones, requiring a restart.
As this is Firefox, some things remain the same across operating systems. Memory usage "isn't great" and the team says that "low memory devices" such as the Droid may pose a problem for the browser. There are also other bugs, but given that this build isn't even in alpha status yet, quirks such as Fennec's install procedure are to be expected.
At present Fennec requires Android OS 2.0 or newer and a device that is capable of running OpenGL ES 2.
Web browsers are an important battleground on mobile devices, with Opera announcing a beta version of its Mini 5 browser last month on the Android OS.
Because the Android Market lacks many of Apple's restrictions, browser developers face fewer problems getting their software onto the Android devices.
The team released this build in the hope of getting feedback as they work towards an alpha and, eventually a production release. µ
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