Nokia N800 Gets Firefox 3 Rendering Engine

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The “Mozilla based browser for maemo” project has released a development version of the Gecko 1.9 rendering engine for the Nokia N800. This project, also known as “MicroB”, allows N800 users to replace the Opera rendering engine of the N800 browser with the same rendering engine that will power Firefox 3. Once the new rendering engine is installed, a menu option is available for switching between rendering engines. The project also supports better integration with RSS feeds, better AJAX support, and the ability to write browser add-ons.

In our testing, we found that most AJAX based sites worked much better with the Gecko engine. GMail and Google Docs worked well but Google Reader crashed the browser. Popular social networking site digg.com worked much faster than with the Opera engine. Overall, sites rendered much more like you would expect on a desktop browser.

The MicroB project is still quite new but looks very promising. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can download MicroB from the project website and give it a try. Here’s a short video we made showing MicroB in action and its integration with the N800’s built in RSS reader.