ZTE Firefox OS device is massive improvement from last year
At last year's Mobile World Congress, ZTE launched its first attempt at a smartphone running Firefox OS. This year, the company is following up on the ZTE Open with the ZTE Open C, a similarly-styled device that is also aimed at emerging markets. This time, the smartphone arrives with a fair number of improvements over its debut. Electronista took the budget Firefox OS device for a spin to see what's new.
Reference phone, tablets and developer tools at heart of announcement
Firefox OS is expanding rapidly, according to claims made at Mobile World Congress today. Mozilla, the company behind the widely-used web browser, outlined some of the finer points of the expansion of the separate Firefox OS in devices reaching out globally -- including a move into new high- and low-end consumer devices, new reference devices and tools for developers to port applications.
Advertising would appear for new users on empty New Tab page
Mozilla plans to add advertisements to the Firefox browser, the company announced at a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau meeting. The new advertisements will take the form of "Directory Tiles," items on a page when a user opens a new, empty tab, and will apparently only affect new users of the browser rather than those who have used it for some time.
Browser changes Sync and UI, Accounts adds cloud account connections
Mozilla has announced the next beta version of the Firefox browser, Firefox Aurora, has been released with updates the Firefox Sync and a new customizable user interface. Along with the changes to Aurora, the company has also unveiled Firefox Accounts, a service to bring history, user accounts and browser tabs across devices in a centralized secure account.
Pinch to zoom, swiping navigation added to beta Firefox version
Mozilla has released a beta version of its Firefox browser, for use with touch-enabled Windows 8 systems. Teased by the company in early 2012, Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta is said in a company blog post to be optimized for the operating system's Metro user interface style, with the main focus of the release being its usefulness for owners of touchscreen computers, notebooks, and tablets.
Context-aware launcher to offer personalized search, homepage for Android users
Mozilla is working with EverythingMe on a Firefox launcher for Android, the company revealed yesterday at the InContext Conference. The launcher is said to be a contextually-aware version that will automatically update to show apps and search for items relevant to the user depending on a number of factors, such as location or time of day.
Social API gains simultaneous notifications
Mozilla has released Firefox 27, an update to its browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The desktop apps have been given an updated Social API, allowing for multiple notifications at the same time. Until today, Firefox would only show notifications for the social network indicated in a user's toolbar. Mozilla is also supporting two new networks, Delicious and Saavn.
Mozilla testing simplified system for synchronizing Firefox content
Mozilla has started testing a username and password approach to Firefox Sync. Sync allows users to access browser content across multiple computers and mobile devices, and previously required typing a "pairing code" shown on one browser into another. Mozilla's username-password authentication for syncing is now available in the nightly build of Firefox, and will be included in more stable versions of Firefox soon.
Firefox 26 brings click-to-play, MemShrink
Mozilla has announced the release of version 26.0 of its popular Firefox browser. The update adds a number of new features, and it is one of the more significant updates to the browser in some time. Chief among these updates is the ability to exert greater control over plug-ins and memory usage, including the ability to have plug-ins only begin playing when a user chooses directly to have them do so.
IE 11 now approaching Safari's install numbers
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 web browser more than doubled its share of the worldwide browser market in the month of November. This according to new figures from research firm Net Applications, which showed Internet Explorer 11 at 3.27 percent of the worldwide web browser market. The November surge saw IE11 leaving Opera far behind, and the Microsoft-made browser is now approaching Apple's Safari browser in terms of market share.
OS update follows phone launches
Mozilla has quickly released an update for its Firefox OS, bringing the feature set closer to a full-fledged smartphone platform. Version 1.1 is said to improve performance, with faster application load times and smoother scrolling, while users can now send and receive pictures and video via MMS. Developers can also take advantage of push notifications to help reduce battery consumption.
iCloud bookmark sync for Chrome still not available for OS X
Amidst the high-profile iOS 7 launch, Apple has also made available a pair of plug-ins for Windows users to enable bookmark syncing. Available today in conjunction with the iCloud Control Panel for Windows 3.0 upgrade are plug-ins for alternative browsers Chrome and Firefox on Windows. Notably, Apple has not added the functionality to Chrome on OS X.
Android app gains WebRTC, NFC sharing
Mozilla has released Firefox 24, an update of its web browser for Windows, OS X, Linux, and Android. The desktop apps have gained a "Close Tabs to the Right" option, found within the contextual menu when right-clicking on a tab. The Mac app uses a new scrollbar style, and people using Firefox's social features can tear off chat windows.
Browser not anonymizing, just allows circumvention of ISP blocks
In less than three days since release, The Pirate Bay's new censor-skirting browser has been downloaded more than 100,000 times, and is being shared on BitTorrent by more than 5,000 people. The Firefox-based project bundled with a Tor client pre-configured with proxy settings allows users to access The Pirate Bay in countries where it is blocked.
Mozilla updates Firefox for Android beta with WebRTC, NFC sharing
Mozilla has updated its beta of Firefox for Android [Google Play] with support for WebRTC. The real-time communications addition is accompanied by updates to its Reader and Reading list, the ability to share Firefox tabs with other NFC-enabled Android smartphones by bumping them together, a Quickshare menu to pass content to various social networks and communications systems, and language support for Catalan-Spanish, British-English, and Swedish. Desktop versions also gain a Browser Console for developers.
PirateBrowser to use Tor for circumventing connection blocks
The Pirate Bay has launched its own web browser, as part of its tenth-anniversary celebrations. The browser, dubbed "PirateBrowser," is a combination of Firefox 23 and a Tor client, which the BitTorrent site hopes will allow users to be able to access the site, which is currently blocked from view by a considerable number of Internet service providers.
Share function allows quick sharing of any link
Mozilla has released Firefox 23, an update of its web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The desktop apps have gained several important features, most notably a Share button, which ties into Mozilla's new Social API. The button lets people share virtually any content on the web without having to use buttons built into a website.
Malware collects data about Tor users, forwards to FBI contractor
ZTE Open on sale in Spain for 69 euros, new Firefox OS simulator due July 11th
Firefox OS smartphones have gone on sale to the general public, with the first batch of devices being sold through Telefonica. The launch in Spain of the ZTE Open, delayed until today following last week's announcement, is accompanied by news that Mozilla has turned on the Firefox OS payment systems, allowing developers to earn through app sales and in-app purchases.
Alcatel One Touch Fire, ZTE Open to initially launch in limited markets
The first two smartphones running on Firefox OS will soon be available to purchase by end users, with customers of Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica being among the first to get the devices. The ZTE Open and Alcatel One Touch Fire, both running Mozilla's open-source mobile operating system, will go on sale in Spain later this week, with the ZTE Open being sold by Telefonica for 69 euro ($90) tomorrow.
WebRTC toggled on by default
Foxconn manufacturing five devices for unnamed OEM
Foxconn has signed a deal with Mozilla to put the Firefox OS mobile operating system onto a number of mobile devices. The smartphones, to be manufactured by Foxconn on behalf of an unnamed OEM, are also accompanied by the companies showing off a prototype tablet, one that was hinted at in a report last week.
Reveal of Firefox mobile device on day before Computex show
Foxconn is going to reveal a new mobile device alongside Mozilla on Monday, one that will apparently run on Firefox OS. While the event on June 3rd before Computex will showcase a new device of some description, neither Foxconn nor Mozilla have hinted at what it could be, but rumblings suggest it could end up being a tablet instead of a smartphone running the new mobile operating system.
Step could affect web advertising
Mozilla is delaying plans to start blocking third-party tracking cookies in Firefox by default, according to an announcement. The company states that more work is needed for the anti-tracking feature. "The idea is that if you have not visited a site (including the one to which you are navigating currently) and it wants to put a cookie on your computer, the site is likely not one you have heard of or have any relationship with," explains Mozilla's Brendan Eich. "But this is only likely, not always true."
Barnes & Noble discount Nook HD, HD+ for Mother's Day
Barnes & Noble has dropped the price of its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets as part of a Mother's Day promotion. For the next week, the retailer will be selling the 7-inch Nook HD from $149 for the 8GB and $179 for the 16GB models, while the 9-inch Nook HD+ is priced at $179 for 16GB of storage and $209 for 32GB. The discounts, varying between $50 and $90 depending on model, will apply until May 12th.
Mozilla updates Firefox OS simulator to 3.0, adds rotation, geolocation
Mozilla has rolled out a new version of its Firefox OS simulator, in order to help with application development. The emulator update to version 3.0, surfacing just after the first developer devices started shipping, adds a number of features, including rotation simulation, basic simulation of a geolocation API, newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia UI, Push to Device, and a number of other bug fixes. The simulator is available to download as a Firefox desktop browser extension.
Geeksphone Keon, Peak Firefox OS developer preview devices out now
The first Firefox OS developer preview handsets are now shipping, starting at 119 euros for the entry-level model and 194 euros for a more fully specified device. Although the devices are aimed at developers, anyone can put down the cash for the new smartphones for shipment to a number of different countries, plus postage costs. The first devices to go on sale are the Keon and the Peak, both made by Geeksphone of Spain and feature mobile apps developed in HTML5.
New API to help pay for goods through credit cards, carrier billing
A new Mac trojan is inserting ads into Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, says a Russian security firm, Doctor Web. Nicknamed "Trojan.Yontoo.1," the malware is so far being distributed through movie trailer pages, which prompt people to download a browser plugin, a media player, a video enhancer, or a download accelerator. When launched, the malware asks to be installed under a name such as "Free Twit Tube."
Nothing in development, says executive
Bounties paid for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Java vulnerabilities
Google's Chrome OS managed to evade all intrusion attempts during the most recent Pwnium hacking competition. While Chrome OS survived intact, Chrome the web browser joined Firefox and Internet Explorer in being shown vulnerable to attack from hackers, during the Pwn2Own contest held at the CanSecWest security conference at the same time.
Non-conforming devices barred from using Firefox name
Smartphones running Firefox OS must meet a set of minimum requirements in order to carry the Firefox branding, in future. Manufacturers wanting their device to be an official Firefox product will need to have the Firefox browser and official marketplace installed, as well as agreeing to a basic list of specifications and other similar requirements.
ZTE and Alcatel target emerging markets
High-end smartphones typically dominate the news at Mobile World Congress, leaving us surprised by the amount of attention garnered by Mozilla's Firefox OS. Earlier this week we checked out Alcatel's One Touch Fire, and today we had a chance to try out ZTE's Open. Both are geared for emerging markets, focusing on maximum features from basic hardware via an operating system built from web standards.
One of first phones with Firefox OS
Mozilla was one of the first companies to hold a Mobile World Congress press conference, where the developer focused on its Firefox OS for mobile devices. Electronista had a chance to try out Alcatel's One Touch Fire, one of the first production devices to embrace the platform. The handset is clearly an entry-level smartphone, seated in a market suited for the fledgling OS.
No device manufacturers announced, devices expected in 2013
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Mozilla made several announcements about Firefox OS, including a preview of the first commercial build of its open mobile ecosystem, new details on new Firefox OS operator rollout plans, and the launch of Firefox Marketplace. The first Firefox OS phones are expected later this year, mostly in European and South American markets.
Downloads made available earlier than official launch
MWC press conference to show new phones
ZTE is planning to reveal two smartphones at Mobile World Congress next month. The Grand Memo is an 5.7-inch device running on Android, which also appears to be similar to the previously leaked P945, while a second device is expected to be the manufacturer's first smartphone that will run the new Mozilla Firefox OS.
First devices using HTML5-based apps for native app functions
Mozilla has shown off two "developer preview" smartphones running its mobile Firefox OS. Named the Keon and Peak, the pair of unlocked mobile phones have been make in partnership with Geeksphone of Spain, and are designed to give developers a platform to create and test apps for the new mobile operating system.
Implements first support for WebRTC
Messenger takes advantage of Mozilla's new Social API
Facebook and Mozilla today announced the release of the new Facebook Messenger for Firefox, which builds access to messaging on the social network directly into Mozilla's browser. The new Facebook integration requires an update to the most recent version of Firefox, but can be activated afterward simply by visiting the Facebook Messenger for Firefox page.
Also adds IonMonkey, W3C touch technology
Thunderbird, now discontinued, also gets security and bug updates
Mozilla today made available version 17 of its Firefox desktop browser, bringing a number of functionality fixes and security upgrades. The upgrade brings an improved Awesome Bar experience with larger icons, revision of the Social API and support for Facebook Messenger, and click-to-play blocklisting to prevent vulnerable plugin versions from running without user permission. The version update brings one major exclusion, though: it drops support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
Android beta users can get early look at Firefox apps
The app marketplace that will supplement Mozilla's Firefox browser and Firefox OS is now accessible by users of the Android Firefox Beta browser. The fledgling marketplace shows off a number of the apps, games, and utilities that will be available on Mozilla's forthcoming mobile operating system when it debuts next year. The marketplace is still in a beta stage and only accessible on Android mobile devices.
Source code made available for community development
Mozilla, having recently announced it was suspending development on Thunderbird, has now pulled its two-year-old Firefox Home browser from the App Store, saying the project provided "valuable insight and experience with the platform." The source code for Firefox Home's iOS Sync feature has been posted to Github, stripped of any Mozilla trademarks with a hope for further community development. The company says it will "continue to explore" iOS opportunities.
Variants posted for mobile and desktop platforms
Mozilla has released Firefox 15 for desktop platforms and Android devices, along with its Thunderbird 15 e-mail client. The company has finally brought its redesigned Android browser to tablet devices, adding a tablet-optimized UI with a redesigned "Awesome Bar," a new tabs experience that supports swipe-to-close, and many of the performance enhancements that recently arrived on the smartphone edition.
Antitrust investigation to see whether Windows 8 is unfair
Regulators in the European Union are looking into whether Microsoft's browser policy for the forthcoming Windows 8 constitutes a violation of antitrust rules to which Microsoft had previously agreed. As Ars Technica reports, the investigation is but one of two in which European regulators are taking Microsoft to task over the browser policies on its Windows platforms.
Improvements also for Awesome Bar and developer mouse control
Mozilla has made Firefox version 14 available for download. The update introduces auto-completion of URLs typed into the Awesome Bar, along with encrypted Google searches enabled by default, to shield personal details from parties collecting data through the network infrastructure. The Pointer Lock API has also been added, allowing developers to improve mouse control for games and Internet applications.
Google deal presumed to influence Mozilla decision
Mozilla will replace Yandex with Google as the default search engine in Russia for the next version of Firefox. Local favorite Yandex has been the default option for the Russian version of the browser since 2009, but will be replaced earlier than the end of the year as previously stated, according to The Next Web. The Russian search company will continue to offer its own Yandex-branded version of Firefox, however, until the end of the year.
Firefox 13 available for download with more Chrome-like features
Mozilla has now released the full version of its Firefox 13 web browser, the first beta version of which came out at the end of April. Those who didn't get the beta will be able to download the latest software on Tuesday. The most prominent changes include a new home and tab screens, along with the newfound compatibility of the Google-backed SPDY protocol.
Mozilla says lack of browser choice takes users back to dark ages
The Mozilla Foundation, maker of the Firefox web browser, is calling out Microsoft for anticompetitive practices with regard to browser capabilities on the upcoming Windows RT. In a blog post, Mozilla's General Counsel Harvey Anderson takes Microsoft to task for programming decisions that will limit the power and feature set of non-Internet Explorer browsers in the next version of Windows.