firefox

Firefox gets mobile foothold from Android preinstallation deals

Mozilla has a new way to persuade people to use the Android version of its Firefox browser: get hardware makers to preinstall it.

On Thursday, Mozilla announced that new Kobo Arc tablets and the Gigabyte GSmart Simba SX1 smartphone will have the nonprofit group's mobile browser built in.

That could be helpful to Mozilla, which is trying hard to extend the browser influence it has on personal computers to the fast-growing mobile realm where Apple's iOS and Google's Android browsers dominate usage statistics.

But it would be more helpful if Mozilla could get its browser on higher-profile … Read more

LG launches Firefox phone in Brazil

Two Firefox OS phones went on sale on Tuesday in Brazil, a country on which Mozilla has been pinning many of its Firefox OS hopes.

In addition to the Alcatel One Touch Fire, already the de facto flagship device for the nascent operating system since it's available in most countries that offer Firefox phones, Brazil gets the higher-end LG Fireweb.

The Fireweb ships with a 4-inch HVGA TFT screen, a 3G 1GHz Qualcomm processor, and a 5 megapixel camera. Telefonica's site says that it comes with 4GB of memory, while Mozilla says it's 2GB. The Fireweb starts … Read more

Telefonica's Yotam Ben-Ami fights for Firefox phones (Q&A)

Android and iOS won the mobile operating system wars, right?

Not if you're Yotam Ben-Ami, who as director of open Web services at Spanish carrier Telefonica is responsible for bringing a new competitor to market, Firefox OS. Last week, Mozilla finished Firefox OS 1.1, but even with some shortcomings fixed, the smartphone operating system faces immense challenges competing against Google's Android and Apple's iOS.

But Ben-Ami has some evidence that the open-source, browser-based operating system has a shot at becoming the third operating system for mobile devices. Since its first Firefox OS phones went on sale in July, … Read more

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

Extension lets you switch Firefox tabs with mouse gestures

You are either a keyboard shortcut person or a mouse/touch-pad person. If the latter describes you, I have a Firefox extension that may be of some interest. TabFlip lets you switch tabs with a flick of the mouse.

After installing TabFlip, you can immediately get to the flicking or, as the developer calls it, flipping action -- no restart is required. To switch tabs, hold down the right mouse button and give the mouse a flick horizontally. Flicking to the right moves you to tabs to the right, while flicking to the left does the reverse.

The same action … 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

iCloud can now sync bookmarks with Firefox and Chrome

iCloud users can now sync their bookmarks across all of the major browsers used in Windows.

Released on Wednesday, the iCloud Control Panel 3.0 for Windows can keep your bookmarks in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome synchronized with your Safari bookmarks on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and the Mac. Previously, iCloud supported only IE.

To turn on the new feature, download and install the 3.0 version of the iCloud Control Panel. After launching the program, click on the checkmark for Bookmarks if it's not already checked. In the Options pop-up up menu, you can then choose … Read more

Firefox-based ZTE Open completely lacks spark

ZTE's Open is many things: attractive, significantly inexpensive, frustrating, underpowered, and extremely targeted to a specific audience. Apart from being one of the first commercially available phones running the inchoate (and understandably incomplete) Firefox-based operating system, the Open achieves another rarity for a band of phones targeted to developing regions: selling directly to the U.S. market by means of eBay.

In the US, ZTE and Firefox aim the $80 unlocked device at new Firefox OS developers, who they hope will buy the purposely basic, affordable handset as a testing ground for their own browser-based apps. The duo also … Read more