Fenix

About the Project

Mozilla recently created a Github repository for a brand new mobile web browser named Fenix. Not much is known about this project. There has been no official statement from Mozilla at this time. A source close to the projects expects a usable project to land somewhere in 2019. With the current rate of code pumping out of the project I would expect that if not earlier. Sebastian Kaspari seems to be the lead developer with most of the commit history.

Technical Details

GeckoView

Fenix opts to use Mozilla’s own GeckoView, rather than the default android webview. Geckos wiki mentions it is not quite ready for production, which leads me to believe a lot of the work going into GeckoView is specifically for Fenix. You can try out GeckoView by following the steps here

Nightly track on its way

Seven days ago, project lead Sebastian created an issue to set up a testing track on google play. This will allow developers and early adopters to get the first look at Fenix, and how it stacks up to other modern browsers.

Docker Build File

The project recently added a Dockerfile that builds all releases of the APK. The Docker project uses the same build chain, which makes it very simple for devs to help contribute to the project. All you need is docker and the other build dependencies are handled within the Dockerfile. This is a great Docker use case that more projects should be taking advantage of

Mozilla Public License V2

The project currently is Licensed as open source, under the Mozilla Public License Version 2

Testing

All of my test builds would not install on both physical Android devices, as well as device emulators. If you are able to get a build working on a certain version of android please email me at justyn@nextwavesolutions.io so that I can share images with how the current state of the browser looks. Until then I will be awaiting the testing branch to be deployed on the Play Store.

No IOS

It’s interesting to notice that there is only an Android version of this browser. That is not to say development won’t happen for IOS devices.

Contributing

Recently Ryan Sipes asked for clarification on build instructions to help contribute to the project. If you take a look at issue #55, you will see Sebastian recommend contributing to Mozilla mobiles android-components library. That is where a lot of the tools being used by Fenix are hosted. The third comment on issue #55 is a post written by myself detailing how to use Docker to build the apk’s. Here you will find instructions on how to build and retrieve the proper APK.