Mozilla introduces Fennec Alpha for Android (2.0 or higher), Nokia N900

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Mozilla this morning introduced the Alpha release of the next version of its mobile browser Fennec for Android and Nokia N900. Fennec, which serves as the codename for Firefox mobile, comes with add-ons and is also built on the same technology that powers Firefox for the desktop.

An earlier version had surfaced back in April this year.

Fennec Alpha for Android and Nokia N900 comes with Firefox Sync built right into the browser, which means your smartphone browsing experience should closely match the one on your desktop.

Thanks to Firefox Sync, Fennec is able to synchronize your Firefox history, bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form data between your desktop and mobile. Just login with your Firefox Sync account info and Fennec will recognize you.

Apart from that, Mozilla says the main focus of this release is to increase performance and responsiveness to user actions. From the blog post:

This is being implemented using two major technologies, “Electrolysis” and “Layers.” This Alpha release includes Electrolysis, which allows the browser interface to run in a separate process from the one rendering Web content. By doing this, Fennec is able to react much faster to user input while pages are loading or CPU intensive JavaScript is running.

The upcoming beta release will start taking advantage of Layers to greatly improve performance in graphic intensive actions like scrolling, zooming, animations and video. We’re also working to optimize these actions using the hardware-accelerated graphics rendering capabilities showing up in today’s mobile devices.

No word on the launch date of that upcoming beta release, though.

Release notes are here.

Important: Mozilla says that Fennec, although compatible with Android 2.0 and above devices, has been optimized for the Nexus One.

For more info, they ask you check the Android system requirements.

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