We’re excited to bring all that you love about Firefox to Windows 10. When you upgrade to Windows 10 or get a device that already has it installed, you may be surprised to find that your default browser is set to Microsoft Edge by Windows. Microsoft has changed how to set default applications in Windows 10 and to help with the process, we have illustrated below all the steps you need to set or change your default back to your intended choice. Continue reading …
Firefox OS is an important part of our mobile strategy, in addition to Firefox for Android and other initiatives. We believe that building an open, independent alternative to proprietary, single-vendor platforms is critical to the future of a healthy mobile ecosystem. And it is core to our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity in online life.
As an open source project, we are different from other tech companies and do most of our work and planning in the open, so we want to share a brief update of what we’re planning and what we’ll be experimenting with for the next phase of Firefox OS. Continue reading …
In furthering the advantages and appeal of the Web as a platform for games and game technologies, Mozilla is publishing its games-focused roadmap. In short, it’s all about high-performance, plugin-free games on the Web. We have made incredible progress over the last few years; to continue this trend, Mozilla has been working with game developers and tool makers to identify additional enhancements that will further empower the community. The following roadmap outlines both the feedback we received and the solutions we are currently pursuing in response to this feedback. This roadmap may be subject to change. Continue reading …
We created Firefox more than a decade ago with a mission to give people transparency, choice and control online. Since then, the browser has continued to evolve its critical role in how users experience the Web and control their online lives.
That’s why at Mozilla we’re always focused on one question: how do we make Firefox even better and continue to delight users? Because we are different than most tech companies and work in the open, we are sharing some experiments centered around the three focus areas of our strategy.
The first focus area is delivering an uncompromised user experience that ensures Firefox meets the most rigorous of quality and performance standards. This commitment is evident in the strides we’re making to improve the richest Web experiences like HTML5 video playback and game performance. We’ll also soon deliver Firefox to new platforms, such as Firefox for iOS and Windows 10, where we will provide an independent and high-performing alternative to the stock browser.
Best Of The Web
Firefox is well known for giving users complete control over their Web experience while pushing the boundaries of the “modern browser.” Today, we’re working with more partners and developers around the world to highlight innovation and offer the best of the Web in Firefox. We showed this with our new search strategy for Firefox to promote choice and innovation and with new open technologies we build based on standards including Firefox Hello, the first WebRTC in-browser video chat tool made in partnership with Telefonica. We continue to pioneer open standards including WebVR, WebGL and WebRTC to advance the Web as the development platform.
Earlier this year, we asked users to identify what’s different about Firefox and the results reaffirmed our view that it’s important for Firefox to be increasingly recognized for attributes such as performance, trust and quality that align with our mission.
We value that our users trust us because we protect their choices and protect their privacy. That’s why we are experimenting with improvements to private browsing and other unique features for a major release focused on these three areas that we’ll share with Firefox users later this year.
Stay tuned for more.
We want to bring Firefox to every language, platform and device possible. Although we can’t bring the full Firefox experience and rendering engine to iOS due to the restrictions, we saw an opportunity with the latest improvements and tools in iOS 8 to begin development of a Firefox experience for iOS.
The Firefox team has been working hard on development of this new browser over the past few months. We are sharing source code in Github for the brave early testers and are also preparing for a limited Firefox for iOS Beta soon. Of course, we would prefer to have a large, open beta, but we must work through the required development and release process to get a Firefox app tested on iOS to get it ready to share with the world.
We’ll post more updates here as Firefox for iOS develops.
It’s been 18 months since we started working to improve digital advertising experiences for the Web. We released our first two products, Directory Tiles and Enhanced Tiles, last November. Directory Tiles have proven that Tiles can deliver successful advertising in Firefox and Enhanced Tiles was our first step to show it is possible to deliver personalization while respecting privacy. The next step is to scale these advances to the entire Firefox population.
Suggested Tiles will merge with the Beta channel next week – Beta testers should start to see Tiles promoting Firefox for Android, Firefox Marketplace and other Mozilla causes.
Suggested Tiles is an advertising experience that delivers content recommendations that are relevant for the user in a transparent way while at the same time respecting their privacy, and giving them complete control over the experience. As a tester, you should be able to identify clearly what is promoted or sponsored content, understand why you’re seeing it, interact with it and be able to change your settings with ease. If you want to opt out entirely of Tiles, you may do that effectively and easily. Please note that we are not testing ad blocking add-ons with Suggested Tiles.
* Note: if you set DNT=1, it is possible that you may not be receiving Suggested Tiles. You can very simply enable them on the new tab page with the cogwheel. We made the decision to opt users out of all sponsored Tiles experiences if they have DNT=1 quite early on, as we believe that most DNT early adopters are seeking to opt out of all advertising experiences. However, it’s important to understand that no tracking is involved in delivering Tiles.
- Release Notes for Firefox Beta for Windows, Mac and Linux
We’re experimenting with new features in Firefox Beta to give you more ways to connect with the people and content you want on the Web.
There’s a new tab sharing feature in Firefox Hello Beta so you can share any website you’re viewing while talking to friends, family and co-workers. We’re also testing a new integration with the popular service, Pocket. Pocket allows you to save stories, videos and websites to enjoy at a later time.
To test Firefox Hello tab sharing, follow these steps:
- Click the Hello icon in the Firefox toolbar.
- Start a conversation.
- Connect with your guest.
- Click the share icon.
To experience even more of Hello, sign up for a Firefox Account. You can then add and save contacts directly into your Hello contacts list, making it easier to connect with friends and family.
You’ll see the Firefox Accounts sign up option by clicking the Hello icon and looking at the bottom right of the conversation control center.
You can even use Firefox Hello without an account, the people you’re connecting to just need to click your link to join a call with you.
When you have a Firefox Account, you can also test the new Firefox Beta Pocket integration, following these steps:
- Click “Sign up with Firefox.”
- You’ll create your account and be asked to confirm your email.
- Open your email service and click the confirmation link in the message we’ve sent you.
You’re now ready to use Pocket. To start testing, visit any website and click the Pocket icon in the toolbar. For example, visit Yahoo news. Once there, click the Pocket icon. That page will be saved to your Pocket. You can access that content again through Firefox by clicking the Pocket icon and selecting View List. You’ll then be taken to the screen below where you can view and manage your saved content.
Pocket is available in Firefox Beta in English, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish and more languages are coming soon.
One of the common requests we’ve had since we started work to bring high-end gaming to the Web is the desire to take advantage of the more modern 3D graphics capabilities present in desktop GPUs, as well as the latest generation of mobile GPUs. WebGL, the Web’s standard for 3D graphics, is tied closely to OpenGL ES, the standard for mobile 3D graphics. WebGL 1.0 was based upon OpenGL ES 2.0, which ensured that WebGL content could run on the widest possible hardware, both desktop and mobile.
Today, we’re introducing a preview of WebGL 2, which is still under development by the WebGL working group. WebGL 2 is based on OpenGL ES 3.0, and brings with it many improvements and additions to help developers create stunning visuals on the Web. WebGL 2 will raise many restrictions and add new capabilities compared to WebGL 1. For example, while WebGL 1 only required support for being able to render using 8 textures at a time, WebGL 2 raises this minimum limit to 32.
WebGL 2 also includes requirements for higher precision in fragment shaders, adds support for features such as occlusion queries and geometry instancing, and introduces developer-controlled access to antialiasing, multiple render targets, and more. All of this combines to enable Web developers access to more advanced graphics on both desktop and mobile platforms.
The Unity 5 engine includes experimental support for WebGL export, and we’ve worked with Unity engineers to bring their ES 3.0 target to WebGL 2. Check out Unity’s Teleporter demo below, taking advantage of new WebGL 2 rendering features!
We have some exciting new updates to Hello, our communications feature in Firefox, and we could use your help testing them because we value your feedback. Hello focuses on making it easier to communicate with your friends and family who might not have the same video chat service, software or hardware as you.
Together with our long-term partner Telefónica, and leveraging TokBox technology, we’re looking to make it easier to communicate over the Web by providing people with the first global communications system built directly into a browser. Firefox Hello is free to use, allows you to connect with anyone who has a WebRTC-enabled browser such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera and doesn’t require you to sign up for an account.
Since we introduced Hello, we’ve been listening closely to user feedback and acting on it. We’ve heard from people who love not having to sign up for an account or download a plugin in order to use Hello. We’ve also heard that the call initiation process and call management could be simpler. As a result, in Firefox Beta we’ve made important changes to the account-less call mode that simplifies the call process by eliminating some steps. Now when you start a conversation a window opens showing a self-view until the person you have invited clicks on the link and joins you. When the person you have called joins the conversation, you’ll be notified with an audio alert and the Hello icon will turn blue.
Each conversation window has a shareable, unique URL for two people to communicate more easily over video or audio. You can create multiple conversations and name them for different topics, making it easier to go back to the people you speak to regularly without having to create a new link each time. For example, you might set one conversation up for your weekly catch up with your family and a different one for a daily meeting with your co-worker. And the best part is that you still don’t need to set up an account to benefit from this feature. Your saved conversations will always be there when you need them.
For those of you who still love direct calling – don’t worry, we’re not taking this away. You will still be able to call people directly if both parties have Firefox Accounts.
So why not start a conversation and at the end of your call let us know what you think. Your feedback will help us find and fix bugs and enable us to get ready to share rooms with more Firefox users. Here are the instructions on how to create a conversation using Hello.
Recently, Ericsson announced successful interoperation of its OpenWebRTC client with Firefox. This is very exciting for us; it marks several important milestones, both for Firefox and for the WebRTC specification itself.
Ericsson’s Bowser, which is based on their OpenWebRTC implementation, represents not just a third interoperable browser in the WebRTC space, but the first totally independent implementation. While most of the code in Firefox and Chrome’s WebRTC stack comes from completely different teams, some of the media handling is shared between the two. This common heritage, however small, has led to doubts around whether the IETF and W3C specifications are sufficiently detailed to achieve interoperability. Ericsson’s work in this space serves the incredibly valuable role of proving out that WebRTC interoperability can be achieved independently, simply by following the standards as they are specified.
The timing is fortuitous: both the IETF and the W3C are now approaching the home stretch in their WebRTC-related work, and the final steps to publish the relevant specifications will begin in earnest in the next few months. Multiple independent codebases allow us to discover where the specifications are ambiguous, incomplete, or inaccurate: if two different teams believe that they have implemented a standard but still don’t work together, it’s probable that the specifications themselves need to be adjusted. These kinds of problems are orders of magnitude easier to fix before they’ve been published.
In addition to the basic WebRTC interoperability story, Ericsson’s work also represents a completely independent H.264 implementation that works with Cisco’s real-time OpenH264 stack, which is incorporated in Firefox’s WebRTC codebase. Although H.264 is a mature, well-tested technology, its incorporation in Firefox is done in a novel way – through the use of the new Gecko Media Plugin (GMP) architecture – that had previously been tested only with itself. Further, Firefox’s implementation of other aspects of its H.264 handling, such as RTP packetization, parameter negotiation, and packet loss handling, had similarly been only self-tested. Ericsson’s success in interoperating H.264 video demonstrates the viability of the OpenH264 codec, our associated media handling and signaling, and the GMP architecture.
Finally, the simple existence of a second general-purpose, interoperable WebRTC toolkit (in addition to the WebRTC.org library) serves the critical role of growing diversity in library implementations, which helps avoid the rise of the kind of software monoculture that is so harmful to interoperable standards. In single-implementation ecosystems, having the same bug on two systems may result in a flaw being masked. Importantly, this makes it much harder for newcomers to the game to write software that works with the incumbent implementations. Additionally, the mere existence of more than one library keeps implementors “honest”: the temptation to implement proprietary or out-of-specification behavior is tempered by the knowledge that doing so will break their interoperability with many other implementations.
Mozilla would like to thank Ericsson for their important work in helping advance the WebRTC standard and in expanding the implementation ecosystem. We are proud that they chose Firefox as the reference implementation to use to test their interoperability, and look forward to seeing additional open-sourced projects based on their OpenWebRTC library.
Adam Roach, Principal Platform Engineer