Tag Archives: Firefox

Firefox Turns 6, Now Has 36% Market Share

Mozilla’s baby is turning 6 today, with a 36% market share to brag about. Six years ago Internet Explorer one of the most used browsers, that is when Firefox was launched and quickly became popular among tech enthusiasts and developers. Now, the browser boasts of more than 1/3rd of the market share.

browser_market_share_oct_2010

In the past few years though, Firefox has also had to fend competition from and who have been rising on the popularity charts. With being delayed till 2011, Mozilla definitely has to buck up its game to extend their stay for several more years to come.

Firefox 4 is a definitely game changer for Mozilla, and hopefully this 6th birthday will give them a boost to get it out of the door as quickly they can. Here is wishing one of the best browsers I have ever used a very Happy 6th birthday. To get some goodies, visit the official Mozilla birthday page.

BlackSheep Thwarts Firesheep Intruders

Firesheep, a for snooping on and  logins on open Wi-Fi connections caused quite a storm when it was released. It went on to show how insecure your computer could be.

BlackSheep Firesheep Protector

The exploit could snoop on unprotected Wi-Fi connections and retrieve login cookies for Twitter and Facebook, which could then be used to login to a users account and access their data. If you are using an open Wi-Fi connection, the first thing to do is to to secure your Wi-Fi connection. If you need help with it, read our earlier guides Wi-Fi Demystified I and Wi-Fi Demystified II.

BlackSheep is another which is designed to combat Firesheep. BlackSheep drops fake session ID information on the wire and then monitors traffic to see if it has been hijacked. If BlackSheep finds that someone is snooping on you, it will display an alert as seen in the image above.

If you have a secure Wi-Fi connection, you have nothing to worry about, but if you don’t, the threat of Wi-Fi snooping by Firesheep is pretty high. You can circumnavigate the threat by using https instead of http while accessing the websites, but to be on the safer side, install the BlackSheep add-on too, which can be downloaded from here.

Also Read: Advice from a Wi-Fi Hacker

(Source: Life Hacker)

Firefox 4 Beta 2 for Android and Maemo Released: Faster and Sleeker

Although Mozilla is struggling to ship Firefox 4 for desktop operating systems, work on the mobile version seems to be going on at full throttle. Firefox 4 Beta 2 for Android and Maemo was released yesterday. I went hands-on with the Android version, and it’s definitely a significant improvement over past releases.

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Start Page of Firefox for Android

No, the newest Firefox for Android won’t rock your world, but it is usable, and that alone makes it a significant improvement over its predecessors. One thing that I really like about Firefox Mobile (or Fennec) is its interface. It completely does away with the need of using hardware buttons. Instead, you can perform everything you wish to by simply swiping on the screen in different directions. Of course, this breaks the standard navigation model in Android, where you are supposed to press the ‘Menu’ button to bring up the application menu and tap the ‘Back’ button to go the previously open page. Some people might hate the change, but I wish that more applications followed this philosophy. Apps designed for the touchscreen should be completely controllable via the touchscreen alone.

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TechieBuzz Rendered with Firefox for Android

Mozilla has tweaked the start page, which now displays tabs opened in the previous session, and can even fetch opened tabs from your computer, if you are using Firefox Sync. Other new features in this version include an extremely handy undo option for closed tabs, which allows you to recover accidentally closed tabs, and a context menu for links and webpages. You can now share any link or webpage by long pressing and choosing the sharing option that pops up. Mozilla has also slashed Firefox’s ROM space requirements from a ginormous 40 MB to about 17 MB. It’s still a lot more than what most apps require though.

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Tab Management in Firefox for Android

While Firefox impresses with its interface and functionality, it lacks polish. I loved it at first glance, but things fell apart as soon as I started using it. I found the rendering to be choppy on occasions, and the browser takes way too long to load. The innovative interface also creates problems on websites that aren’t optimised for mobile phones. If the website has horizontal scrolling, you are going to find yourself accidentally triggering various UI (user interface) aspects quite frequently. Firefox only makes matters worse by not offering a text reflow mode. And finally, the one thing that really annoyed me, was the lack of copy-paste.

Opera is the king of the hill when it comes to mobile web browsers, and Opera Mobile for Android is slated to be released in a couple of days’ time. Mozilla has the advantage of a larger fan base and powerful extensions, but that might not matter much if they don’t hurry up.

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Awesomebar in Firefox for Android

Firefox 4 Won’t Be Ready Until 2011

Last week, we pointed out that the development of Firefox 4 was taking a lot longer than anticipated, as a result of which, the final version might not be released by the end of this year. A short while back, Firefox’s director Mike Beltzner, confirmed our fears in an update posted on Mozilla’s Dev Planning group. He wrote:

As those who have been tracking our nightly builds know, great things are happening with Firefox 4. The user interface changes are converging, the graphics and layout features are wrapping up, and recently the JavaScript engine was dramatically improved. The result is a fast, capable Firefox that provides better speed and responsiveness for web applications and users. Completing this work is taking longer than initial estimates indicated as we track down regressions and sources of instability. As part of our commitment to beta users, we will not ship software before it is ready.

Firefox-4-Beta

Firefox 4 Beta 7, which was originally expected to arrive on Sept 17, will ship in early November. Similarly, the release date of Beta 8 has been pushed back from October 1 to Nov 12. The RC build (Release Candidate) should arrive in early 2011, which will be followed shortly thereafter by the final build.

Firefox 4 Continues to Fall Behind Schedule: Major Delays Expected

Last month, I reported that Mozilla had axed some of the features from Firefox 4, in order to meet its release deadline. The first feature to be dropped was the new Account Manager that had received rave reviews from most users. However, it now appears that, even cutting down on features might not be enough to get Firefox 4 back on schedule.

Firefox-4

According to this publicly available schedule, Firefox 4 Beta 7 was supposed to arrive on Sept 17, and Beta 8 was supposed to land on October 1. However, both of these dates have come and gone, without any new Firefox 4 builds being released. Quite obviously, Mozilla also missed its target of achieving code freeze by Oct 15 in preparation of the RC (Release Candidate) release.

Firefox-4-Schedule

There’s still plenty of work left to be done. Just a couple of weeks back, Mozilla reported that it had 17 blockers (bugs that are major enough to prevent the release of a build) to deal with before the next beta release, and as many as 510 blockers to fix before they can move on to the RC stage. This has prompted Softpedia to speculate that Mozilla might not even manage to pull off the release by the end of this year.

How to Move Firefox Tabs Using Keyboard Shortcuts

If you work with a lot of tabs in Firefox, sometimes you may want to move them to different positions in the tab bar. Say you are reading an article in Google Reader, which is opened at the far left tab of Firefox. At the same time, you are writing a blog post in another tab which is at the far right.

You want to place both the tabs adjacent to each other so that you can read the article and quickly write the covering story in the other tab.

The general way of moving tabs is to click the desired browser tab, drag it to the new position and release it. There is again another keyboard shortcut for highlighting a particular tab using Control + Number, but this is not very useful when you have more than a dozen tabs open. You have to manually count the number of tabs from the far left to the present position, which is quite old school.

MoveTabs is a Firefox extension which lets you move Firefox tabs using keyboard shortcuts.

Once the extension is installed, you can switch the position of any tab using the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Control + Shift + Home: Moves the current tab to the extreme left position
  • Control + Shift+ End: Moves the current tab to the extreme right position
  • Control + Shift+ Page Up: Moves the current tab one position to the left
  • Control + Shift + Page Down: Moves the current tab one position to the right.

Now here is a trick. Suppose you have opened 15 tabs in Firefox and you are currently on the 3rd tab. You want to quickly jump to the 14th tab which is somewhere lying down the right end of the tab bar. Instead of hitting the arrow key on the tab bar and scrolling through the open tabs – use Control + Shift + End and then Control + Shift + Tab. Done !

Here are some more useful keyboard shortcuts for tabbed browsers.

Using these shortcuts you can save a good amount of time, especially when you reading something and writing it on another browser tab. Got any favorite keyboard shortcut trick ? Let’s hear them in the comments.

Firefox 3.6.11 and 3.5.14 Released

With Firefox 4.0 hogging all the limelight, it’s easy to forget that most of the users are still using stable builds of Firefox 3.5 and 3.6. Earlier today, Mozilla pushed through a recommended security and stability update for both the trunks.

Firefox

As many as nine vulnerabilities have been fixed in this release, including five critical ones. This update also fixes numerous stability and performance issues – 40 in Firefox 3.6.11 and 23 in Firefox 3.5.14 to be exact. For more information about the fixed vulnerabilities refer to the bugzilla thread for Fx 3.6.11 and 3.5.14.

[ Download Firefox 3.6.11 | Download Firefox 3.5.14 ]

Mozilla Announces Open Web App Platform

Web is the future and the browser will make the operating system redundant. I am sure you have heard this argument before, and will probably hear it in the future. While I am still not sure about the web browser making the operating system insignificant, a lot of the big guys (especially browser manufacturers) are definitely convinced.

Back in 2006, Opera introduced widgets, which are essentially applications developed using existing web standards that can run on desktop, mobile phones and even other devices like television sets. Last year, Google announced their web-oriented operating system – Google Chrome OS. While the Chrome OS is yet to arrive, the Chrome Web Store is expected to launch pretty soon. And, just a couple of days back, Opera joined the Wholesale Application Community – an alliance of the world’s leading mobile operators working together to define, create and deploy a common mobile application platform that leverages the power of the web.

Open-Web-App-Platform

Now Mozilla has also jumped in and announced its own “Open Web App Platform“. Conceptually it’s very similar to Google’s Chrome App store. Developers can build applications using existing standards (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) and must include a special manifest file that confirms to the Open Web App platform specifications. After that the app can be installed and used from any operating system (desktop or mobile) that has a modern browser. Unlike Google’s offering, which is restricted to Chrome OS alone, Mozilla supports Internet Explorer 8, Chrome 6, Safari 5, Opera 10 and WebKit mobile.

Head over to appstore.mozillalabs.com to get a taste of what Mozilla is planning.

Opera Mobile For Android Coming Within A Month

In an official blog post, Opera has confirmed that they are working on Opera Mobile for Android. Opera Mobile will bring with it pinch-to-zoom support and hardware acceleration. Hardware acceleration will allow Opera Mobile to run at lightning speed and make panning and zooming smoother by making optimum use of the GPU power.

Opera_Mobile_Android

Opera has promised to deliver the first public beta of Opera Mobile within the next month’ and it will be available via Android Market or m.opera.com. The Norwegian browser company will also be releasing an updated version of Opera Mini for the iPhone with hardware acceleration and pinch to zoom support.

With Mozilla also working hard on Firefox for Android, the Android browser competition is sure going to heat up.

Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo Now Available

Mozilla has released the mobile version of their browser Beta 1 for mobile. The mobile version of uses the same technology as the desktop version and is optimized for mobile phones.

Firefox 4 Mobile

Firefox 4 beta mobile makes use of two new technologies in their architecture. The first one is called Electrolysis and allows the browser to run in a separate process. The second technology is known as Layers and improves overall performance of the browser in graphics areas such as scrolling, zooming and animations.

Firefox 4 Beta also includes Firefox Sync which allows users to sync between their mobile and desktop making their bookmarks, browsing history, tabs, passwords and form fill data available on multiple devices.

Firefox 4 Beta also makes use of the latest technologies such as and also supports add-ons. If you have a or based device, you can read more about Firefox 4 Beta mobile or download it from the official Mozilla blog.