Like apps hitting a store, browser add-ons have to go through validation to ensure that they work properly and are secure. This is the case with Firefox, and developers will be only too aware that the validation tool provided by Mozilla is unreliable and difficult to use.
Earlier in the year Mozilla took the decision to build Pocket into Firefox. Previously available as an add-on, the 'read it later' tool was transformed into an integral part of the browser. While this was a move welcomed by some users, others are concerned about the privacy implications.
There are also concerns that having Pocket built in unnecessarily bloats Mozilla's code, but it looks as though it is here to stay. Speaking to Venture Beat, director of engineering for the browser said "there are currently no plans to offer a version of Firefox that doesn’t include Pocket".
Both builds implement a new Tracking Protection feature to tighten web privacy, while the desktop version adds a new Control Center. Android users also gain a number of new features, including a login manager and the ability to queue up links from other apps.
When your product has millions of users, any change that you make is guaranteed to impact a significant number of people. So, when you decide the time has come to remove a traditional feature, you are sure to encounter some resistance. Question is, where do you go from there?
Mozilla is in this exact situation. The organization apparently wants to drop support for FTP in a future version of its Firefox browser. And, even though most folks are likely not making use of it, there are still hundreds of thousands if not millions of other people who will be affected.
Since the launch of Windows 10, anyone who has joined the Insider program has been treated to a number of updates in the form of preview builds -- particularly on the Fast ring. Regular users have not been so lucky, but Microsoft's Windows 10 roadmap includes a number of Service Pack-style updates on the horizon.
It is through these bigger updates that Microsoft is expected to deliver the long-promised extensions to its Edge. But anyone who is looking to extend the capabilities of Microsoft's browser could have something of a wait on their hands. The next update to Windows 10 -- known as Threshold 2 -- won't bring extensions. In fact, it won’t be until the Windows 10 Redstone update later in 2016 that Edge gets the feature everyone is waiting for. But will it be too late to claw back users from Chrome and Firefox?
Firefox is a supremely configurable browser with an array of useful settings, but many are so deeply buried in about:config that you may never even realize they exist.
ConfigFox is a free portable tool for Windows which makes it easier to view and manage Firefox’s more advanced privacy and security-related options.
Mozilla will kill "most" NPAPI plugins in Firefox almost two years after Google took the same action with Chrome. Back in September 2014, Google announced that NPAPI support would be removed starting in January 2015. Mozilla is now playing catch-up, and plans to end NPAPI support by the end of 2016.
When Google announced its decision, speed, stability, and security were cited as reasons for ditching plugins, and Mozilla is taking much the same line. The company also points out that many features and functions that only used to be possible through the use of NPAPI plugins can now be achieved through native web APIs. But what is this going to mean for users?
Launching a new web browser was always going to be a risk. Microsoft used Windows 10 as a launch pad for Edge, shedding the shackles of Internet Explorer in a bid to take on the likes of Chrome and Firefox.
Sadly for Microsoft, new figures show that Edge is failing to make inroads into Google's and Mozilla's market shares. Analysis performed by Quantcast shows that in the US just 12 percent of Windows 10 users are using Edge, while Chrome is sitting pretty with a greater than 70 percent share.
There's been a lot of talk lately about ad-blocking thanks to iOS 9. It's a tough call, given that some users don't want to see ads, but the sites they visit wouldn't exist without those ads -- block them and the sites go away, eventually. That makes for quite a conundrum, and Mozilla is trying sort it out. The Firefox maker refers to it more benignly as "content blocking".
Mozilla hasn't quite figured this all out and it is looking for users to help with the puzzle. The organization isn't interested in what the problem is, but is focusing more on why users choose to do this by utilizing blocking agents.
The desktop build introduces a large number of mainly incremental changes – the most interesting are profile picture support for Firefox Accounts and the addition of instant messaging to Firefox Hello -- while the mobile version makes it possible to utilize different search providers from the search panel.
Firefox is a wonderful browser that can be found on multiple operating systems, such as Windows, OS X, Android, Ubuntu and more. One place it is absent, however, is iOS. In other words, it is not available on the wildly popular iPhone and iPad. This is tragic, but not without reason. Mozilla pledged to avoid iOS, as Apple prevents the use of alternative engines, such as Gecko. The company has since reversed course, however.
Today, Mozilla announces that a public preview of Firefox for iOS is now available. Excited? You probably shouldn't be. Why? It is a New Zealand exclusive for now. I can understand wanting to restrict the preview, but making it an exclusive to that country only just seems very random. Right?
Mozilla today announces a series of important changes that affect Firefox add-ons. The good news? Add-ons should be reviewed faster, they will be more secure, and a new API means that Chrome extensions can be more easily ported across. But, of course, there is also bad news.
The bad news for developers is that Mozilla is switching to new technologies -- Electrolysis and Servo -- and this means that work will have to be done on existing extensions to ensure compatibility. In the switchover, it is likely that a large number of older add-ons will simply not be updated, but with a 12 to 18 month timescale for phasing out XPCOM and XUL means there is plenty of time for other developers to come up with alternatives to projects that have been abandoned and will no longer work.
Google Hangouts is my choice for a communication service, so even though I prefer Firefox, I've been using Chrome lately since it worked better with it. Shockingly, the service did not have a dedicated web page. Yeah, Google touts the open web and web apps for its Chromebooks, but Hangouts was sort of missing from the equation.
Guess what? Today, this changes. Yeah, Google officially launches a Hangouts webpage and it is pretty damn good. It is so good, in fact, that I uninstalled the Chrome browser today and went back to Firefox full time -- I had no good reason to stay on Google's web browser.
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the launch of Internet Explorer. First making an appearance in the Windows 95 era via the Microsoft Plus! Add-on pack which featured the excitingly-named Internet Jumpstart Kit and version 1.0 of the browser people love to hate and hate to love.
Two full decades later we have slowly but surely worked up to Internet Explorer 11 -- Chrome, for comparison has hit the 40s in less than half the time -- and now IE has been all but retired. With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is the new kid on the block. Twenty years is a long gestation period. Was it worth the wait?
Pre-fetching or caching of web pages is a technique used by many web browsers to improve perceived performance -- it's nothing new. But Firefox takes a slightly sinister and stealthy approach. Simply hover your mouse over a link and the browser fires off requests to the associated website in the background.
While this sounds potentially helpful, it is also something of a privacy and security concern -- not to mention a waste of bandwidth. You might hover over a link simply to check out the destination in the status bar; if there is a link to a malicious or unsavory website, you probably don’t want these stealthy connections being made in the background. If you're worried about your security or privacy, or just want to be back in control of your web connection, there are steps you can take.