Mozilla unimpressed with Google's Web photo standard

Bad news for fans of Google's WebP: Mozilla has given it a resounding meh in a study comparing it and rival image formats.

The study compared JPEG to WebP, JPEG XR, and HEVC-MSP, a still-image format drawn from the new HEVC/H.265 video compression technology. Google has touted WebP as a way to reduce file sizes on the Web and therefore to speed up Web page loading and cut bandwidth costs.

Firefox developers initially decided against WebP, but the support of significant sites, including Facebook, encouraged Mozilla to reevaluate. The study doesn't seem to have carried the … Read more

Mozilla fills feature gaps with Firefox OS 1.1 release

Mozilla announced on Wednesday it's finished Firefox OS 1.1, filling in a large number of missing features, improving performance, and securing some new commitments from carriers that are helping back the browser-based operating system for mobile phones.

Firefox 1.0 debuted earlier this year for the first generation of mobile phones, generally low-end models targeted at feature-phone owners who wanted to take the smartphone plunge but who didn't want to spend the money required for higher-end Android or iOS devices. As with many first-version operating systems, though, there were a lot of missing pieces.

Now, along with … Read more

Firefox to deactivate most plug-ins by default

Mozilla has dealt another blow to those who want to use plug-ins to extend the browser's capabilities. It's keeping all but Flash Player deactivated by default in a version of Firefox now under development.

With the click-to-run plug-in feature, announced in January, plug-ins such as Silverlight and QuickTime won't run unless the user authorizes it when a Web page using them loads. That feature now is built into the Aurora version of Firefox that will grow into the final release in coming weeks. The plug-in hurdle doesn't apply to Adobe Systems' Flash Player, by far the … Read more

Guest browsing coming to Android Firefox

A slew of new features are being readied for the Android version of Firefox that will bring it closer to its more popular desktop counterpart.

Firefox for Android 25 Beta introduces the recent security addition to desktop Firefox called mixed content blocking, to help tighten mobile browsing security, and adds a guest browsing feature.

Guest browsing protects the primary user's history, open tabs, and bookmarks, while allowing the guest user to take advantage of browsing data that Private Browsing mode doesn't record. When the guest session closes, the browsing data gets deleted and the primary user's session … Read more

Sharing is caring in Firefox for Android

On Tuesday, Mozilla released a major update to Firefox for Android, bringing over many of the sharing services from its older-brother desktop version.

Version 24 adds a Share menu that lets you add your most frequently-used sharing services like Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail for quick sharing. If you prefer a more physical approach, the new version also adds bump sharing, which lets you fist-bump your friends with other Android handsets to quickly send open tabs, news articles, or just about any page from the Web. This works via Near Field Communications technology so both devices must have an NFC chip.… Read more

New Android Firefox simplifies mobile browser sharing

From features to speed, mobile browsing isn't quite what its desktop sibling is, but if Tuesday's Firefox 24 update is any indication, the gap between them is quickly shrinking.

The new, stable version of Firefox 24 for Android focuses on tying the mobile browser to several quick sharing tools.

Among the list of options in the Android menu button while using Firefox is now a "quickshare" button, based on your most commonly-used sharing tools. It lets you share with one tap and automatically picks up on your preferred sharing tools.

"Bump sharing" will also … Read more

First batch of Firefox phones sell out in U.S., U.K.

The ambitious Firefox phone may face a long, uphill road to success, but the first batch of phones up for grabs in the U.S. and U.K. has sold out after its first weekend of availability.

Less than 1,000 units of the low-powered ZTE Open were sold in each locale, with the American eBay tapped out at 985 phones for $80 and 990 phones on British eBay sold at 60 pounds. Both offers came with free shipping.

A Mozilla representative said the company wasn't sure when eBay would be able to get more phones in stock.

While … Read more

Firefox OS faces brutal road ahead

Can a browser transform into a phone? Firefox maker Mozilla certainly hopes so, but skepticism among analysts has been the backdrop to Mozilla's claims of growing customer interest in its small, plasticky, and brightly colored Firefox phones.

Those phones have seen rapid expansion of availability in their first month on the market, from initial sales only in Spain, to now include Venezuela, Colombia, Poland, and soon eBay customers in the U.S. and the U.K.

The Firefox OS phones serve two purposes, according to Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. She said that the development of Firefox OS is about … Read more

Review: Work with multiple e-mail accounts in one program with Postbox for Mac

Postbox for Mac's streamlined interface and automatic syncing to existing accounts makes it a good e-mail manager. Additional features, including social media integration, further add to the program's appeal.

Postbox for Mac's main menu includes a row of buttons along the top that operate all of the common e-mail features. These include syncing to the Internet for new mail, archiving, replying, and forwarding, among others. A bar on the left side allows users to see which e-mail accounts are active, and to switch between them. The response time for changing accounts was quick. The main window contains … Read more

Mozilla bridges Gmail to Persona log-in

You can now use your Google account credentials with Mozilla Persona to log in to Web sites, but have no fear: Mozilla assures its users that Google can't track which sites you use with its service.

"Persona remains committed to privacy: Gmail users can sign into sites with Persona, but Google can't track which sites they sign into," wrote the company on its Identity at Mozilla blog, which tracks Persona development.

Mozilla added Gmail support to the log-in service on Thursday. The Google support in Persona joins support for Yahoo log-ins, as well as Persona's … Read more