It was almost one year ago that we first got a glimpse of what Firefox Mobile looked like running on the Nokia N800. Then in January we saw some mockups of what their iPhone-like interface might look like for other devices, and even more recently we saw a video demonstration that knocked our socks off with an intuitive tab navigation system.

Where’s the project at now? The version that runs on the N800 is making some steady progress. As it stands the first Alpha release, codenamed Fennec, should be available in the next month or two. At that time they’ll have the basic functionality included, but the fancy things we saw in the latest video demonstration are nowhere to be found. According to Mark Finkle, Mozilla’s Platform Evangelist, those things are to come:

We have been focusing on some of the underlying, platform work. The UI changes will come in future releases to be sure.

The latest version, Milestone 6, is available for Nokia N8x0 owners to test out. Here is a snapshot of what it looks like:

firefox mobile-1.jpg

A Windows Mobile version of Fennec isn’t a top priority on their list, but it is expected to debut at some point. There’s no mention as to whether other phones, such as the Blackberry, will also be considered for development.

Keep an eye out for the next milestone because that’s when some of the interface updates are supposed to land. According to this page on the Mozilla Wiki the end result should look something like this:

Recent Fennec Mockups (Click to Enlarge)
fennec mockup 1.jpg fennec mockup 2.jpg fennec mockup 3.jpg

We’ll definitely be watching close as new versions are released, and will keep you posted of anything interesting that we find. In the meantime any of the Nokia N8x0 owners out there should take the new release for a whirl and let us know how it is. I’ve read a few reports of it not being too stable, but no one is giving up hope this early.

[via Mozilla Developer Center]