Fennec logo

The last peep we heard about Fennec was in late June, when Mozilla updated its mobile edition of the Firefox browser for Windows Mobile phones. This week, the Firefox browser maker has released an updated version for the platform powering Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets: Fennec 1.0 Beta 3. (You can also download a desktop emulator for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.)

Following 'the rule of threes,' it could be a good guess that after this third beta, the final version will be next in line. A Mozilla spokesperson, however, told CNET that more beta builds are expected in the future.

This beta update for the Linux-based Maemo operating system especially addresses performance and user interface, starting with a theme refresh. In the future, the interface will also be better able to support a variety of devices and orientations.

Fennec 1.0 beta 3 on Maemo

Additionally, Fennec 1.0 beta 3 takes on slow scrolling and panning. The third beta should see sped-up performance and the ability to scroll iframes. As you pan, Fennec for Maemo's new image-rendering system will save more of the screen. It should take less time to refresh the screen as you navigate back and forth.

The next build will focus on smoothing out rough edges, Stuart Parmenter, Mozilla's director of mobile engineering, said in a blog post. The team will particularly pay attention to using the browser's new rendering system to nix the checkerboard pattern you see when panning around.

As a beta product, Fennec 1.0 beta 3 is intended for testers to help work out the kinks. Read the full release notes here.

Article updated at 1:15 pm with a comment from Mozilla.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.