CLARIFICATION: 1/15/10 at 2:50 pm PT. The video notes that Firefox mobile appears to only work in landscape mode. This is because the Nokia N900 doesn't support portrait mode.
The way development is going at Mozilla, it won't be long before we see the first full release of Firefox for a mobile device. Actually, two releases. Mozilla is making its browser's first mobile entrant Nokia's N900 and N810 Internet Tablet, both running on the Linux-based Maemo operating system.
This First Look video shows off the point Mozilla has reached so far in Firefox 1.0 for Maemo--Release Candidate 2. We learned after shooting this video that Mozilla plans to have a third release candidate before making the mobile browser widely available to owners of the two supported Nokia devices. And that's a good idea.
We've long known that Firefox for mobile phones will feature minimal controls up top, instead utilizing controls and menu buttons in left and right gutters that you access by sliding your finger left and right on touch-screen phones. The usability feels fine there, but some combination of the Nokia N900 test device and Firefox itself added up to sluggish touch response.
The add-ons manager is Firefox's mobile claim to fame. Opera introduced widgets in Opera Mobile 9.5 for Windows and Symbian phones (9.7 is the most recent stable version; 10 beta is the most recent, period.) Yet widgets are far from the Web extensions that Mozilla envisions, including one add-on, Weave, that will sync data across Firefox browsers. It's nice getting a peek at the add-ons, but the selections are understandably few so far.
Check out our take on Firefox 1.0 Maemo RC2 and chime in with your own opinions.
Related: Firefox for Maemo closing in on final release