Fennec – the little things

I downloaded a copy of Fennec today — Mozilla’s experimental mobile browser optimized for touch screen mobile devices.

If you’re either TK or one of the .00001% of the rest of the population who owns a Nokia N810, you can test the browser in a real mobile environment.

For the rest of us, Mozilla’s been kind enough to offer downloads of Fennec that work in Windows, OS X and Linux.

It’s actually pretty aggravating to use a touch screen-optimized browser with a mouse and keyboard, but I was happy to see the thought they’ve put into the user experience.

Case in point, the settings screen:

If you can’t read these, the items include gems like:
Load images – Makes websites pretty
Enable Javascript – Makes websites flashy
Enable Plugins – Makes websites annoying

At SXSWi ’08, there was a great panel called, “From Frustration to Elation” that made the case that injecting emotions (like humor, happiness, empathy, etc.) into products, software and services helps people make positive connections with the experience, which can contribute to the difference between a successful product and a failure.

In an arena with a growing number of players (like this, this and this), little things can have a big impact.

One thought on “Fennec – the little things

  1. Since the post is still up, I can still comment, no?

    So, I’ve got a Nokia N810 “webtablet” – not to be confused with a phone (of any sort) or a “nettablet” – the next ethersphere golden egg of web technology. Yeah, I know it doesn’t make any sense….but what the heck, I’m a visual artist.

    I downloaded Fennec because the N810 is a wi-fi, Linux-based mobile device with a touchscreen and a Mozilla-based browser. Even enables Flash 9.0. Waiting for the Flash 10.0 version as some sites are starting to outpace my little device.

    The Fennec interface is a nice start – good looking, pretty intuitive – but REALLY slow. Especially for being on one of the devices for which it was intended?

    There’s a lot that’s right about the approach, as Kyle has highlighted, but I’ll be looking forward to a thinner app in the next version. And maybe a little more integration into the device’s actual UI?

    Canola2 is a glimpse at what Fennec could bring to the table in subsequent releases. Primarily, the convergence of tasks/content.


    While the link may not give you a good look at what Canola really can do, but it’s a fine app. It’s a media player that offers plug-ins for Flickr, YouTube, LastFM and other media content. It’s very intuitive, open-source and functions well, although with the latest beta I’ve had some trouble getting it to recognize the plug-ins. I’m thinking about getting a Linux-based nettablet, and I’m hoping that Canola will perform flawlessly on a more robust platform.