We have some exciting updates to our experimental WebRTC feature in Firefox. We’ve added some new functionality to play with and a new name. Say ‘Hi!’ to Firefox Hello.
Firefox Hello provides more value to Firefox users by making it easier to communicate with your friends and family who might not have the same video chat service, software or hardware as you. It’s free to make voice and video calls and there’s no need to download software, plugins or even create an account. It’s ready to go as soon as you open Firefox Beta by clicking on the ‘chat bubble’ icon under the customize menu. Hello allows you to connect with anyone who has a WebRTC-enabled browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera. We should give a shout out to our friends at TokBox, whose OpenTok platform is used to power this new feature.
The new features we’ve added to Firefox Beta include:
New Call Options
One of the great features of Firefox Hello is that you don’t need to create an account in order to connect with the people that matter to you most. You simply share a callback link with the person you want to connect with and when they click on the link the call begins.
But let’s say that you start using Hello all the time with your friends and family. As an added convenience, you should sign up for a Firefox account for even easier one-click calling from Firefox. After signing in, you can initiate or receive direct calls with other Firefox Account users, without having to share a callback link first. You can sign into your Firefox Account on every computer you use, so you can be reached at home or at work.
We’ve also added contacts management for the first time in this release. You can add contacts to your address book manually or import contacts from your Google account to Firefox Hello. Simply select ‘Import Contacts’ from the address book and then sign into your Google account to give permission. If your contacts have a Firefox Account and are online, then you can call these contacts directly from Firefox.
These are just some of the main improvements that we will be rolling out over the next few weeks to all Firefox Beta users. So please test them out and let us know what you think at the end of your call. Please remember we’re still in the experimental phases and making a lot of changes behind the scenes.
We look forward to receiving your feedback on these new features, so we can get Firefox Hello ready to share with the world.