After almost two years in alpha, Mozilla today finally upgraded its mobile browser Fennec to beta 1 on Android and Maemo. With the upgrade to beta, it sheds the name “Fennec” altogether and grows into full-blown Firefox.
On Android, the .apk is still called Fennec and will replace the alpha installation and cute icon with a shiny new Firefox icon. In our initial runs through the beta, it does appear to be faster handling and less prone to crashing than the alpha build, but we haven’t put it through its paces yet. No Earth-shattering changes so far, we’ll updateif any turn up.
In the Mozilla Blog today, Stuart Paramenter wrote an introduction to the browser that shared some phraseology from the Fennec alpha in August, namely what this build is focused on.
This time around, he says, “A major focus of this release is to increase performance and responsiveness. Two of the big architecture changes are Electrolysis and Layers. Our alpha contained Electrolysis which allowed the browser interface to run in a separate process from the one rendering Web content, resulting in a much more responsive browser. This beta brings the Layers pieces which improve overall performance and in graphics areas such as scrolling, zooming and animations.”
Download Firefox 4 Beta 1 for Android and Maemo here.