Update on Firefox for iOS

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.

Help Test Changes to New Tab in Firefox Beta

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.

Where something doesn’t work as specified, please file bugs under Firefox, Component New Tab page.  If you have comments on the quality of the experience, please let us know through Firefox Input.

* 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.

More information:

Get a Firefox Account and Test New Features in Firefox Beta

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:

  1. Click the Hello icon in the Firefox toolbar.
  2. Start a conversation.
  3. Connect with your guest.
  4. 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.

Firefox Hello Tab sharing

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.

Firefox Accounts

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:

  1. Click “Sign up with Firefox.”
  2. You’ll create your account and be asked to confirm your email.
  3. 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.

An Early Look at WebGL 2

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!

Calling All Beta Users: Help Test Simplified Calling in Firefox Hello

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.

New conversation window in Firefox Hello

New conversation window in Firefox Hello

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.

More information:

Ericsson Interops OpenWebRTC with Firefox

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

Changes to Search in Firefox

Think about what you’ve searched for in the last week: gifts for family, travel ideas, worrying health symptoms, long lost friends. Search is a central part of how we live online, and that makes it a personal, intimate act. That’s why I’m excited about the changes coming to search in Firefox. We build Firefox for you, and we work constantly to ensure that it fits your online life.

The first change, as Chris announced a few weeks ago, is that we will no longer have a single, global default for search providers in Firefox. This is really important: Firefox is available in more than 80 locales and we can now choose great defaults independently in each one. Of course, we’ll always offer you several built-in search providers to choose from, and the ability to install new ones.

For our US users, the new Yahoo default also comes with a new, modern Yahoo search experience. We collaborated with Yahoo to help them create something special for Firefox users, with richer search results that pull from the best of the Web (like integrated Yelp reviews for restaurants, Tripadvisor for travel, and lots more). Yahoo has also committed to respect Do Not Track signals from Firefox users across all Yahoo properties. For our users that choose not to have their activity tracked across the web, I’m thrilled that we can offer a default search that respects their choice.

The new search interface in Firefox

The last big change you’ll see in Firefox is our new search box. You’ve told us that, even with great defaults, you often have special searches you want to send directly to a different provider, like Wikipedia. Now you have the power to choose any search engine in a single click, without having to change your default.

If you don’t see these changes in your Firefox right away, don’t worry; you will. For something as central as search, we take extra care, and that means we’re going to roll this one out slowly (if you really can’t wait, try our pre-release channels).

Firefox search options

We provide more search choices in Firefox than any other browser because their differences matter; to you, to us, and to the web. We hope you’ll enjoy the improvements we’ve made to search in Firefox, and we look forward to bringing you more awesome in 2015.

Test the new Firefox Hello WebRTC feature in Firefox Beta

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.

Call Management Panel

Call Management Panel

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.

Contacts Integration

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.

More information:

Test sending Web pages to a second screen from Firefox for Android Beta

We’re continuing to develop our multi-screen capabilities in Firefox for Android Beta.

Users can enhance their browsing experience by mirroring a Web page in an open tab directly from Firefox for Android Beta to a second screen via streaming devices like Chromecast using their Android mobile devices. Any Web page that is being viewed can be sent to a second screen. This feature is now available for testing.

Getting started:

To use this feature in Firefox for Android Beta with a streaming device, simply follow this process:

  1. Install or update Firefox for Android Beta and connect to a WiFi network.
  2. Set up your streaming device on your TV and connect it to the same WiFi network.
  3. Open a tab in Firefox for Android Beta and find a page you want to mirror.
  4. Go to the main menu in Firefox for Android Beta, select ‘tools’ then ‘mirror tab’.
  5. This will display a list of connected streaming devices on the same WiFi network as your Android device. Simply select the device you want to send a Web page to.
  6. To stop mirroring the tab, open the main menu in Firefox for Android Beta.

This exciting new feature is currently in pre-release and we need your help to test it. Please do remember to share your feedback and file any bugs. Happy testing!

More information:

Road-Test sending video to Chromecast and Roku in Firefox for Android Beta

We have been working hard to develop initial multi-screen capabilities within Firefox for Android Beta. Now, supported video content from Web pages you visit can be sent to and viewed on a second screen, with a new ‘send to device’ video sending feature. This feature is now available for testing.

Users now have even more control over their Web experience and can enhance the way they view video content by sending it to a larger screen. They can play, pause and close videos directly from within Firefox for Android via the Media Control Bar, which appears at the bottom of the phone’s screen when a video is being sent to a device. The Media Control Bar will stay visible as long as the video is playing, even as you change tabs or visit new Web pages.

To help users identify that the video they are watching in Firefox for Android can be sent to their connected media streaming device, a ‘send to’ indicator will appear (after any ads have finished) on the playback controls bar for the video.

Clicking this indicator will bring up a list of connected streaming media devices. Users can then select the device they want to send the video to for viewing on a big screen. A second ‘send to’ indicator will then appear in the URL bar to remind users that content from this Web page is being sent to a device.

URL bar showing ‘send to’ indicator in right-hand corner

URL bar showing ‘send to’ indicator in right-hand corner

How to Get Started
To test this feature on Roku or Chromecast, follow these simple instructions:

1. Install Firefox for Android Beta if you haven’t already.
2. Make sure Roku or Chromecast is set-up on a nearby TV and is running on the same WiFi network as your Android phone.
3. If streaming to a Roku, add the Firefox channel to the channel list – instructions from Roku on how to add a new channel are here
4. Go to a site like CNN.com and look for a video on the homepage. Once you start playing a supported video (after any ads have finished playing), the above ‘send to’ icon will appear over the video controls indicating that it can be sent to a nearby streaming device.
5. You can send the video you are watching to a nearby media streaming device by tapping on the video and selecting ‘send to’ from the video controls or touching the ‘send-to’ icon in the URL bar. Both actions will automatically launch the Firefox channel on Roku or activate Chromecast for streaming and send the video to a nearby TV.


  • So long as the device receiving the video supports the same video format being viewed on Firefox for Android (e.g. MP4 for Roku), it will play.
  • Some websites hide or customize the HTML5 video controls and some override the video playback menu too. This can make sending a video to a compatible device like Roku a little tricky, but the simple fallback is to start playing the video in the web page. If the video is in MP4 format and Firefox for Android Beta can find your Roku, a “send to device” indicator will appear in the URL Bar. Just tap on that to send the video to your Roku.

Support for sending videos to compatible devices like Roku and Chromecast is currently in pre-release. We need your help to test this exciting new feature. Please do remember to share your feedback and file any bugs. Happy testing!

For more information: