Fennec

What Does Fennec Mean?

Fennec is the codename for Firefox Beta for mobile, which is a browser specifically designed by Mozilla for mobile devices, such as PDAs and smartphones. Fennec is powered by the Gecko rendering engine, which is the same engine behind the Mozilla Firefox desktop browser.

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Fennec features password management, tabbed browsing using thumbnail images, one-touch bookmarking, location-aware browsing and custom-made security features for safer browsing. It also has the capability to synchronize with a user’s desktop Firefox browser by using the Firefox Sync feature. As of 2011, this browser is available for the Nokia Maemo and Android platforms (Android 2.0 or later).

Techopedia Explains Fennec

Fennec’s user interface was specifically designed for the limited displays of mobile devices. Therefore, to save space, the tabs and the browser controls (such as backward, forward and bookmarking) are hidden from view.

Because most mobile devices are now equipped with touch screen displays, Fennec features an interface designed specifically for touch screens. The normally hidden tabs and browser controls can be accessed with a swipe of a finger. Zooming in or out is accomplished by double-tapping on the screen. However, incremental zooming is usually done by the mobile device itself.

Since mobile devices are carried everywhere, Fennec developers equipped this browser with location-aware capabilities, which provide maps and information relevant to the user’s location.

Fennec can be synced with the desktop edition of Firefox, allowing users to bring their desktop history, preferences, customizations, bookmarks, passwords and even open tabs to their mobile device. In addition, Fennec includes a "do-not-track" feature, which prevents websites from tracking the user’s browsing behavior.

Just like the Firefox desktop edition, Fennec can also be customized by installing add-ons from Fennec at Mozilla.com. For developers, Fennec comes with an open-standards-based development platform composed of HTML 5, CSS and JavaScript.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.