Personas Go Mobile

Personas are easy-to-use themes that let you personalize the look of your Firefox browser with fun colors and designs. This feature is integrated in the desktop Firefox browser, but was not available yet on mobile.

This is not the case anymore, as you can style your Firefox for mobile browser with the Personas add-on. No more grey in your browser!

Personas on the awesomescreen

To dress up your browser, install the add-ons from the mobile Add-ons Manager. You’ll see the Personas button your Start page. Just tap the button and go directly to the Personas web site to choose a theme, and wear it by tapping on the orange button. This will change your theme on the fly, and add it to your list of recent themes in the Add-ons Manager pane.

The theme will apply to the title bar, the Awesome Screen and tools panels, as well as to the Find in Page and Form Assistant toolbars. You can even use animated ones!

Personas sidebar Personas find bar

“Best in Show” Add-on Developer Gives Back!

Our Add-ons Cup “Best in Show” winner, Chris Finke, won his title for developing Tapsure, an add-on that alleviates the pain of typing on a phone by allowing you to input passwords on sites by tapping a rhythm on your touchscreen. Check it out!

We were all thoroughly impressed with the concept, creativity and execution of Tapsure and were happy to award Finke with the “Best in Show” prize that includes a trip to Barcelona and a pass to attend Mobile World Congress. However, due to a personal matter, Finke is unable to attend and has elected to donate proceeds of his prize to Mozilla’s Open Web Fund, dubbed Drumbeat.

“Developing for the Web means that I can reach every connected person in the world with a single point of contact rather than having to develop apps for as many platforms as I can make time; the Web has proven to be the only true cross-platform solution,” says Finke. “Keeping the Web open means continued instant and unfettered access to my audience – no app store approval process, no third party constraints.  I can’t imagine it any other way, and the Open Web Fund is advancing this cause in a very real way.”

Drumbeat is focused on supporting practical projects and local events that gather smart, creative people around big ideas, solving problems and building the open Web. Thanks to Chris, $2500 will go to support Drumbeat’s various efforts and put these valuable dollars to extraordinary use. Take a look at some of our featured projects that will benefit!

“The Mozilla community believes we can, and must, keep the Web open,” says Mark Surman, Mozilla Foundation Executive Director. “That’s why we appreciate the support of those who can participate in practical ways by providing raw material for new kinds of innovation, creativity, wealth and democracy. We encourage others, like Chris, to participate in building a better Internet and keeping the Internet open for the long haul.”

Thanks again to everyone who contributed their time and energy to the Mobile Add-ons Cup and an extra thank you to Chris for his wonderful gift and commitment to keeping the Web open and free for everyone to enjoy!

Congrats Mobile Add-ons Cup Winners!

Congratulations to our Add-ons Cup winners. Our judges had an extremely difficult time choosing from the many fantastic and innovative mobile add-on submissions we received. The following add-ons are the winning selections per category:

  • Commerce: FinDeal by Almog Ben-kandil – Save both time and money by searching your preferred shopping websites simultaneously, easily and quickly.
  • Games: Page Eaters by Tamas Marki – Defend the web page from the page-eating bugs.
  • Geolocation: Near Me by Sriram Ramani – Search for interesting things relevant to your location.
  • Productivity: Home Links by Enrico Previdi – Customize the links that appear (such as mail client, search engine, news, etc.) when you tap on the home button.
  • Social: Less Spam, Please by Benoit Bailleux – When adding a comment to a blog, for instance, generate a temporary and anonymous email address to prevent usage by unwanted third parties.
  • Novelty: Tapsure by Chris Finke – Input passwords on websites by tapping a rhythm on your touchscreen rather than typing.

Congratulations to Chris Finke. Tapsure also won the title of Best in Show!

Vote for Your Favorite
You’ve heard what the judges had to say, now it’s up to you to decide the People’s Favorite. Vote for your favorite of the six category winners before Friday, January 28.

How to Install Add-ons
1) On your Android or Nokia N900, go to (or the Android Market) and install Firefox 4 Beta.
2) Swipe left, tap on the browser tools (gear) and go to the Add-ons Manager (puzzle piece).
3) You will see these add-ons featured under Get Add-ons. If you not see the add-on, you can type in the name of the Add-on directly into the search field.
4) Tap on the add-on you’d like to install and select Add to Firefox.

Hear From Our Winners
Some of our winners shared their inspiration for developing their add-ons:

“The context of search in mobile is restricted mostly to finding places around people. I explored this idea to make it easy to search for places of interest, and also reduce typing. The openness of Mozilla helped me explore its code, find how certain add-ons are built and helped me develop this add-on.” – Sriram Ramani, Near Me

“I’m very concerned about privacy. I think that this is one of the most important things that we should be able to control; I don’t want my email address to be used and sold by a third-party. I wrote ‘Less Spam, Please’ for Firefox and for my personal use.  I realized that a smartphone contains most of our digital life and is more sensible than anything else.” – Benoit Bailleux, Less Spam, Please

“Typing passwords on mobile devices is terrible. If you have even a reasonably strong password, it can take more than a few seconds to type it out on a phone’s keypad or on-screen keyboard. In this day and age, that’s time you just don’t have!  Tapsure is an extension for Firefox for mobile that alleviates this problem by allowing you to input passwords on websites by tapping a rhythm on your touchscreen rather than hunting through the device’s keyboard.” – Chris Finke, Tapsure

Thanks again to all of those who took the time to enter the Mobile Add-ons Cup! Now give them a try and remember to vote for your favorite!

Mobile Add-ons Cup CLOSED

The Mobile Add-ons Cup Challenge has officially come to a close. I had fun today testing and trying out some fantastic entries for the following categories: gaming, social, shopping, productivity, geolocation and novelty. The judges will be busy this week testing add-ons and giving each submission thorough consideration. We will do our best to notify our participants, finalists and the Grand Prize winner by the end of this week, January 14. We’ll be announcing the results the following week.

I am so excited for how Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo is shaping up. The add-ons and and growing gallery of add-ons is fantastic to see and use. I can’t wait for others to discover and use add-ons that fit their browsing style perfectly! Stay tuned!

Firefox Home 1.1

We are pleased to announce the release of Firefox Home 1.1, a free application that brings your Firefox bookmarks, Awesome Bar history and tabs on your iPhone or iPod Touch. This is a major update that adds an easy way to setup Firefox Home. Note that easy setup requires you to run the latest Firefox 4 Beta release and is not available for the Firefox Sync add-on.

Firefox Home Easy Setup DialogSync Easy Setup Code Desktop

You can follow these simple steps to set up Firefox Home on your iPhone/iPod. Make sure your phone is connected to the Internet and you can access the desktop where Firefox Sync is installed.

  1. Launch Firefox Home on your iPhone and tap on “I Have a Sync Account”. A 12 character code will be displayed for you.
  2. Launch Firefox 4 Beta on your desktop and go to Firefox->Preferences->Sync.
  3. Click on “Add a Device” and enter the 12 character code that’s displayed on your iPhone.

You’re done! You can start using Firefox Home as your data gets synced down to your phone.

Existing users can also use this new method (requires the latest Firefox 4 Beta) to set up Firefox Home. Note that the traditional setup method still works if you prefer entering in your username, password and Sync Key. To use the traditional method, tap on “I am not near by computer” to bring up the account setup dialog.

We have big plans for Firefox Home in 2011 and can’t wait to deliver on them. As always, we appreciate your feedback so let us know what you think about Firefox Home.

The Firefox Home team

Submit Your Mobile Add-on for a Chance to Win a Trip to Barcelona!

The Firefox Mobile Add-ons Cup has arrived!

Develop a mobile add-on for Firefox and showcase your innovation to millions of mobile users. We’re looking for compatible and innovative add-ons to extend Firefox on the Android and Maemo mobile platforms.

We’re looking for the best example in each of the categories below:

  • Sports/Games
  • Commerce/ Shopping
  • Geolocation
  • Productivity
  • Sharing/Social
  • Novelty/Innovation

We invite developers of all experience levels to participate in creating awesome add-ons for Firefox mobile. You’ll be rewarded with fantastic prizes and tons of exposure between now and January 7, 2011 when the contest wraps. Enter now and start creating your add-on today!

But Wait, There’s More!
We’ve got a serious panel of judges that include industry experts and mobile visionaries that will be judging the submissions and awarding a winner in each category. The prize for each category winner receives:

  • $1000 in cash
  • Android or Maemo phone of your choice
  • Placement on the Firefox for mobile Start Page
  • Showcased in a Featured Add-ons video distributed across Mozilla channels
  • Blog post and Rock your Firefox spotlight

Of the 6 finalists, judges will also choose a Best in Show grand prize winner who will receive the above prizes, plus a full conference pass to Mobile World Congress 2011, plus 4 nights accommodation in Barcelona!

Early Bird Challenge
The Firefox Mobile Add-on Cup is packed full of exposure and prizes for add-on developers, but we have one more. If your add-on is submitted by December 17, we’ll send you a limited edition Firefox 4 Beta shirt!

Check the Cup site for more information, rules and resources to help you get started. Good luck!

“Phony” and “Bigger Text” Added to the Featured Mobile Add-ons List

Our second release of Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo is live! Download it and tell us what you think. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and feedback.

A great feature in Firefox 4 Beta is the personalized Start page that provides instant access to the tabs you had open last time you were browsing on your mobile, tabs from your other computers, and it even suggests you add-ons that will help you get the most out of your Firefox.

Two newly featured add-ons, that will also appear as suggested add-ons on the Start page, are “Phony” and “Bigger Text,” which have been developed by our very own Matt Brubeck.  Both of these add-ons address some of the pain points that our users have flagged for us. These add-ons will serve as great additions while we continue to improve Firefox for mobile.

Phony: Some websites don’t yet detect Firefox as a mobile browser. With Phony, you can load different versions of mobile web sites by changing the “useragent” string to match iPhone, Android, or desktop browsers. Warning: Some iPhone- or Android-optimized sites may not work correctly in mobile Firefox.

Use Phony: Go to your Browser Tools (gear button) > Preferences pane.  “User Agent” will be the top menu item. Tap on the drop-down menu and select your platform of choice.

Bigger Text: Sometimes websites are hard to read on a small screen with their normal fonts. With this add-on installed, you can open the site menu and press the “Bigger Text” button to enlarge the text on any page. Simple as pie!

Use Bigger Text: Tap on the Website ID (favicon next to Awesome Bar) and the Bigger Text button will be listed in the Site Menu. Tap on it and the text will enlarge.

Install them and let us know what you think. Go to your Browser Tools and tap on the Beta Tester button to provide your feedback right from Firefox mobile.

Attend the Mobile Add-ons Online Training Week, Oct 20-22

Ok, so it’s not a full week, but this virtual training event will give you all the information you need to build and port a mobile add-on for Firefox!

Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo has been released into the wild. Pretty soon it will be available for download in the Android Marketplace. Already Firefox for mobile has seen tremendous intrigue and attention from press and consumers, not to mention our 400 million desktop users who have been asking to take their Firefox with them wherever they go. The opportunity to get in early and develop mobile add-ons for Firefox is enormous.

In order to help you capitalize on this opportunity and get great exposure for your mobile innovations, we’re hosting a Mobile Add-ons Online Training Week, October 20-22. These three days are designed to help you get the information, tips and tricks that you need to develop or port an add-on to Firefox mobile.

From October 20-22, members of the mobile and AMO teams will be hosting online office hours on IRC and giving live video presentations on the following topics:

  • Developing mobile add-ons from scratch
  • Porting an existing desktop add-on to mobile
  • UI considerations and compatibility
  • Top add-on request from users, ways to get exposure, and an upcoming Challenge precursor

Hope to see you there!  To get the agenda, topics and participation details, please see Online Training Week Agenda.

Firefox for mobile Bumping Its Version

Firefox for mobile (Fennec) is bumping its version numbering to more closely match desktop releases of Firefox. This means “Firefox 2.0b1 for Android & Maemo” is becoming “Firefox 4.0b1 for Android & Maemo” and will be released as “Firefox 4.0 for Android & N900”. We are aligning mobile Firefox and desktop Firefox since the web rendering engines used in both browsers are the same. Treating them as the same version seemed like the right thing to do.

Any add-ons hosted on (AMO) that are marked as compatible for Fennec  2.0b1pre will automatically be bumped to support Fennec 4.0b1pre. If your add-on worked in Fennec 2.0b1pre, it will work fine in Fennec 4.0b1pre.