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

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

Microsoft buys Nokia handset unit: It's an end-to-end world after all

Remember when Apple lived and died by vertically integrated software and hardware, while Google and Microsoft stood their philosophical ground and created open and not-very-open software (respectively) in order to proliferate across myriad devices and gobble up market share in the doing?

So, that seems over now. Suddenly Google and Microsoft are intensely in the hardware game. Google creates custom hardware to show off and expand its Android and Chrome OS powers, buys Motorola Mobility and risks all kinds of partner wrath to put Google bells and whistles on the new Moto X. And then Microsoft goes and drops $7 billion on Nokia's device and services divisionRead more

Firefox for Android gets new 'awesomescreen' interface

Firefox years ago helped unlock the potential of the browser address bar with its "awesomebar," and now its developers hope to do the same thing for mobile browsing by revamping the "awesomescreen" in Firefox for Android.

Mozilla has accepted a new awesomescreen design into its early-stage "nightly" builds, user interface engineer Lucas Rocha said in a blog post Wednesday. Features in nightly builds typically make their way to beta and final releases after weeks of testing, debugging, and refinement, so it will be awhile before ordinary users see the feature.

The new approach effectively … 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

Bring back the grid layout to YouTube's My subscriptions page

YouTube changed the look of its subscriptions page a few years ago, moving from a grid layout to a single-column view that requires a great deal more scrolling to view its wares. If you've been pining for the good ol' days of the My subscriptions grid view, there is an easy fix for Chrome and Firefox.

For Firefox, install the YouTube Subscriptions Grid add-on. After installing it and refreshing your subscriptions page, you'll see a grid layout with a lot less wasted space. On my 13-inch MacBook Pro, which features a 1,280x800-pixel screen resolution, the grid goes … 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

PirateBrowser lets you sail past Internet censors

In the wake of the release of Firefox 23, the infamous torrent site The Pirate Bay, released its own Web browser, dubbed "PirateBrowser." The package browser is a bundling of a custom Portable Firefox Browser with the add-on FoxyProxy and Vidalia (a Tor Client).

All this work is being done with the goal of allowing the user to bypass the censor net of certain countries such as United Kingdom, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Iran, and North Korea. The browser is portable so you can just put it on a thumb drive and take it with … Read more

ZTE Open Firefox OS handset to hit eBay for $80

Firefox OS will be making a more "global" debut quite soon.

Mozilla and ZTE announced today that the ZTE Open running Firefox OS will be available "soon" on eBay. The companies didn't specify exactly when the handset will hit the e-commerce site, but did say that it'll come in the color orange and will be unlocked, allowing it to run on the carrier network of the customer's choice.

The ZTE Open will cost eBay customers in the U.S. and U.K. $80. The handset's Firefox OS installation relies on the Web … Read more