Firefox for Android comes with the custom, open source fonts Charis and Open Sans to make the Web more beautiful and easier to read on your small screen. The Web is made up almost entirely of text and sometimes reading text can be difficult on small phone and tablet screens. These new fonts will replace the three available Android default fonts to enable a more visually appealing and clear reading experience on the Web. The difference is subtle, but beautiful.
Firefox for Android includes HTML5 compatibility improvements as tested on HTML5test.com, the leading industry HTML5 compliance test. Firefox Firefox scores 421 and 14 bonus points (out of a total of 500).
Thanks to the hard work of the many Mozillians who contribute to building the best mobile browser, Firefox for Android now has an average rating of 4.5 stars in the Google Play Store. Whoo-hoo!
For more information:
Social sites are a key part of online life and with Firefox we want to make it easier to use the Web the way you want. Mozilla developed the Social API to enable social providers to integrate directly into Firefox to make your browsing experience more social, customizable and personal. The Social API makes it easy for your favorite social providers to add a sidebar with your content to Firefox or notification buttons directly on the Firefox toolbar.
Last year we launched with Facebook as the first social integration partner in Firefox. Today, we are adding multiple new social providers Cliqz, Mixi and msnNOW to Firefox, in addition to Facebook Messenger for Firefox, to help you stay connected to your social networks, no matter where you go on the Web.
The new social providers in Firefox make it even easier for you to keep up with friends, family, news and events while you surf the Web. You can get real time updates about news activity, entertainment or your personal network while you browse the Web.
New providers you can now add to your Firefox include:
Cliqz delivers a real-time stream of the most relevant articles, stories, and videos based on your interests directly to Firefox. In the upper left of the sidebar, you can personalize your news feed by selecting categories, keywords, websites, and specific people you want to follow. Share links across your social networks or by email; preview Twitter commentary; and save articles for later without ever leaving Firefox.
To activate, visit the Cliqz activation page and click “Activate Cliqz.”
The Mixi sidebar let’s you easily stay in touch with your friends on the Mixi social network in Japan. It provides a real-time activity stream of all comments and photo shares from your personal social network directly to your Firefox browser. Mixi for Firefox is only available to users in Japan.
msnNOW makes it easy to stay up to date on the things people are talking about, searching for and sharing the most on Web. MSN scours the most interesting trends from real-time sources like Facebook, Twitter, Bing, and BreakingNews.com, so you’ll always know what’s happening and get the jump on what everyone is talking about. You can customize the activity stream to watch for particular types of trending content from the sidebar dropdown menu.
To activate, go to the msnNOW page and click “Turn it On.”
The Social API has endless potential for integrating social networks, e-mail, finance, music, cloud possibilities, services, to-do lists, sports, news and other applications into your Firefox experience. We designed the Social API to make it easier and more convenient to use the Web the way you want. Soon we’ll add even more ways to integrate your favorite Web services into your Firefox Web experience.
For more information:
Mozilla’s mission compels us to provide people with an Internet experience that puts them in control of their online lives and that treats them with respect. Respecting someone includes respecting their privacy. We aspire to a “no surprises” principle: the idea that when information is gathered about a person, it is done with their knowledge and is used in ways that benefit that person. People should be made aware of how information is collected and used. Each individual should also be able to decide whether the exchange of personal data for the services received in return feels fair. This can be challenging to achieve, especially when balanced against convenience and ease of use: people expect a fast, streamlined user experience without excessive prompts and confusing choices. But we are always striving toward this ideal.
Mozilla is an active participant in the ecosystem of today’s Web economics. Much of the content and information that people enjoy and benefit from is funded by digital marketing and sponsorship. This is a valid business model. We simply believe that when personal data is collected to deliver these services, the collection should be done respectfully and with the consent of the consumer. Commerce works best when users understand the transactions they engage in. The best long-term customer relationships are built on trust.
Mozilla aspires to enable personalization — the customization of ads, content, recommendations, offers and more — that doesn’t rely on the user being in the dark about who has access to that information, and with whom that information is shared. As a major Web browser provider and, now, OS developer, Mozilla’s role is to experiment and innovate toward that aspiration. As an open source project, where contributions are welcomed by all, we encourage all in the industry to help, by constructively proposing approaches and collaborating with us in the open.
Here are a just a few examples of the work Mozilla is doing to explore personalization with respect:
- Persona is an identity system for the Web. It gives people control over their Web logins. People choose what identity to present to a given service. In particular, people can keep their work, personal, and other facets of their lives distinct.
- Do Not Track allows you to tell a website that you would like to opt-out of third-party tracking for purposes including behavioral advertising. It lets users express how they would like information about themselves to be handled. It has many benefits. People who use Firefox must actively enable Do Not Track, making it very clear that the user has made an explicit choice Also, Do Not Track is independent of any particular technology, providing resilience in the face of technology evolution. We continue to work with a broad range of interested parties to see the Web adopt Do Not Track.
- Third party cookie policies are being evaluated to strike a better balance between personalized ads and the tracking of users across the Web without their consent. For example, an experimental version of Firefox allows cookies to be set by first parties and by third parties where Firefox has stored a cookie for the party’s domain, but to block by default third-party cookies whose domain is not known from Firefox’s cookie store. We’ve been evaluating that approach, as well as others, working with stakeholders from across the industry.
It should be possible to delight users (and yes, the right offer at the right time can be a delight), while treating them with respect. We continue to experiment with and evaluate new ways to put users in control of their Web experience and encourage you to join us in building toward this vision. We will share more updates soon.
A recent report by Citizen Lab uncovered that commercial spyware produced by Gamma International is designed to trick people into thinking it’s Mozilla Firefox. We’ve sent Gamma a cease and desist letter today demanding that these illegal practices stop immediately.
As an open source project trusted by hundreds of millions of people around the world, defending Mozilla’s trademarks from this type of abuse is vital to our brand, our users and the continued success of our mission. Mozilla has a longstanding history of protecting users online and was named the Most Trusted Internet Company for Privacy in 2012 by the Ponemon Institute. We cannot abide a software company using our name to disguise online surveillance tools that can be – and in several cases actually have been – used by Gamma’s customers to violate citizens’ human rights and online privacy.
It’s important to note that the spyware does not affect Firefox itself, either during the installation process or when it is operating covertly on a person’s computer or mobile device. Gamma’s software is entirely separate, and only uses our brand and trademarks to lie and mislead as one of its methods for avoiding detection and deletion.
Through the work of the Citizen Lab research team, we believe Gamma’s spyware tries to give users the false impression that, as a program installed on their computer or mobile device, it’s related to Mozilla and Firefox, and is thus trustworthy both technically and in its content. This is accomplished in two ways:
- When a user examines the installed spyware on his/her machine by viewing its properties, Gamma misrepresents its program as “Firefox.exe” and includes the properties associated with Firefox along with a version number and copyright and trademark claims attributed to “Firefox and Mozilla Developers.”
- For an expert user who examines the underlying code of the installed spyware, Gamma includes verbatim the assembly manifest from Firefox software.
The Citizen Lab research team has provided us with samples from the following three instances that demonstrate how this misuse of our brand, trademarks and public trust is a designed feature of Gamma’s spyware products and not unique to a single customer’s deployment:
- A spyware attack in Bahrain aimed at pro-democracy activists;
- The recent discovery of Gamma’s spyware apparently in use amidst Malaysia’s upcoming General Elections; and
- A promotional demo produced by Gamma.
Each sample demonstrates the exact same pattern of falsely designating the installed spyware as originating from Mozilla. Gamma’s own brochures and promotional videos tout one of the essential features of its surveillance software is that it can be covertly deployed on the person’s system and remain undetected.
Unfortunately, Mozilla is no stranger to the misuse of our brand. We’ve fought against companies that use our trademarks to deceive users into downloading malware, providing personal information or paying for Firefox, sometimes in a highly organized and syndicated fashion. Not only are these activities illegal, but we take them seriously because they are deceptive, harm users, cause consumer confusion, and jeopardize Mozilla’s reputation.
We’re grateful for the important work of groups such as Citizen Lab, Privacy International, European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights and Reporters without Borders, and encourage anyone interested in the growing prevalence and societal implications of online surveillance to support their efforts.
Hacking at the White House: introducing Maker Party 2013
We’re extremely excited to be participating in today’s White House Science Fair—and even more excited to have President Obama help us kick off our new summer-long Maker Party: thousands of community-led events around the world to celebrate the amazing things we can make and learn thanks to the Web.
Webmaking at the White House Science Fair
Today, Mozilla joined President Obama at the annual White House Science Fair, celebrating the student winners of science, technology, engineering and math competitions across the United States.
A student member of Mozilla’s Hive Learning Network project—16-year old Zainab Oni from MOUSE in NYC—was honored for her contribution to a wrist-mounted Arduino circuit, which helps visually impaired diners find their food. 15-year-old Senqué A. Little-Poole, from the Sprout Fund‘s Hive Pittsburgh chapter, was also honored, for his research on how to use anti-virus cells to cure diseases.
Mozilla’s Executive Director Mark Surman also was there, to talk about our efforts to teach technology skills and, with the help of the White House, to kick off Mozilla’s big summer-long campaign: Maker Party 2013.
Introducing Maker Party 2013
This summer, from June 15 to September 15, Mozilla and the National Writing Project will host dozens of partners from around the world in a giant global Maker Party. Thousands of events will celebrate the amazing things we can make and share on the Web — from video remixes, to apps and webpages, to DIY robots.
Maker Party 2013 will be the second annual summer-long party Mozilla has thrown focused on Web education and digital literacy. Last year’s campaign, the Mozilla Summer Code Party, included more than 700 community-led events, with more than 10,000 participants across 80 countries. This year the party will be much bigger—with 40+ big-name partners currently signed-up, and more to come.
Who’s coming to the party?
Maker Party 2013 is a big tent affair. We’ll be joined by dynamic start-ups, non-profits, institutions, and tech companies, including Black Girls Code, California Academcy of Sciences, DIY.org, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Intel, NYC Department of Education, and the Sesame Workshop. Together, we’ll be engaging more than 500,000 people to learn and make things thanks to the web. A full and growing list of the organizations joining the Maker Party is available at webmaker.org/party.
“This is a global party — and you’re invited,” said Mozilla Executive Director, Mark Surman. “Mozillians are people who make things, and we’re part of a growing global community of people who feel the same way. That’s why this year’s party isn’t just about learning to code, but celebrating the huge range of learning, making and creating the Web makes possible.”
How to get involved:
- Join the party. Sign up at webmaker.org/party. Make something, share it, or teach others what you know.
- Watch the science fair live today. The White House Science Fair will be livestreaming from 11:30 am on.
- Host or attend a maker party. We make it easy to find an event near you—or to throw your own.
- Get more involved. Take part in our new “Teach the Web” open online course, and connect with other like-minded people around the world.
- Spread the word. We’ll be tweeting our announcement live from the White House using the #MakerParty hashtag. Join in!
Mozilla’s Maker Party is a part of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Summer of Connected Learning.
Here at Mozilla, we believe the Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible. We believe in the importance of balancing the commercial goals of the Internet against those for the public benefit. Brazil’s Internet Bill of Rights, the Marco Civil da Internet, seeks to maintain this balance by guaranteeing basic rights for Internet users. We support this kind of effort to create a comprehensive, pro-Internet policy framework. If adopted, it could well serve as a reference model for future legislation.
The legislation is groundbreaking in its intent. It secures important rights to Internet users through a civil framework rather than a criminal code. These rights include the right to privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information. It defends communications over the Internet, protects the sanctity of the Internet connection itself, requires comprehensive information in service contracts (particularly with respect to the protection of personal data), and limits third party access to connection logs and Internet applications.
The Marco Civil has been percolating since 2009. Despite a high level of community engagement (a collaboration of over eight hundred contributors), the legislation stagnated when commercial interests got involved. Important components of the legislation, such as the safe harbor provision regarding copyright infringement, have already been excluded. We don’t want to see the legislation further diluted.
The Marco Civil mandates net neutrality while outlawing the tracking of consumers through deep packet inspection (DPI). These are two hot-button provisos opposed by certain commercial entities. The prohibition against DPI protects privacy and choice by outlawing its use to track unaware Internet users. The mandate of net neutrality contains very limited exceptions – and particularly prohibits businesses from charging for different types of services depending on what is contained in a data packet.
The drafters of the Marco Civil and other interested parties are hosting a seminar in Brasilia on April 17. This Internet Bill of Rights sets valuable precedent for not only global net neutrality and privacy principles, but for the protection of intellectual property rights everywhere.
Looking towards the future of Firefox OS
Today we are announcing changes to our executive leadership team as we build up our pivot to mobile and build upon the foundation that’s now in place to accelerate into the opportunities in front of us.
Where we started
Mozilla has always believed that the Web needs to be a place where anyone can access information, communicate, create and collaborate without boundaries or restrictions.
Firefox was introduced for desktop computers in 2004 at a time when the Web was being held hostage to proprietary interests. Under the leadership of Mitchell Baker, Brendan Eich and others, Mozilla put individuals in control of their experience for the first time, and helped shape the future of the Web for the public good as an open standards-based platform for innovation.
Pivot to mobile
In 2010, it was clear that while the desktop was an important target platform, that the future is mobile. And there was an opportunity to move people to the center of their connected experience and unlock untapped potential for innovation by enabling the Web as the platform.
With a deep background in mobile, Gary Kovacs was enlisted as CEO in October 2010 to lead the organization and establish the framework to accomplish these goals. Over the past two and a half years, we’re incredibly proud of what we have accomplished:
Building mobile DNA deep into the organization, with the launch of Firefox OS, HTML5 apps and Firefox for Android, while also creating the global, operational structure to support market growth.
Delivering at the speed of the market and competition: Firefox desktop is faster, more secure, more stable, evolving faster; launched important services with Persona and Sync and Apps marketplace and added new partnerships.
Trusted consumer advocacy in public policy debates with SOPA/PIPA, DNT and more.
At Mobile World Congress 2013, we showed the world that Mozilla was now fully a mobile organization as we announced rollout plans for Firefox OS with broad industry support and commitments from 20+ partners to bring devices to market.
Aligning for the future
With a solid foundation now in place, Mozilla is entering an exciting phase – as we launch mobile devices with our partners around the globe – and a reinvigorated mission in protecting the Internet freedoms for the next 2 billion people coming online in the coming years.
To gear up for this next chapter, we are announcing the following Mozilla Corporation leadership changes:
- Gary Kovacs, having accomplished the goals and objectives he and the team set out to achieve, will be stepping down as CEO later this year but will continue to provide vision and leadership as a member of our Board of Directors. An executive search will begin immediately for his replacement.
- Mitchell Baker has expanded her role to become our Executive Chair as she returns to a deeper involvement in Mozilla’s daily activities. She will also focus on ensuring that organizations and individual contributors have the tools they need to make meaningful contributions to unlock the potential of the Web.
- Brendan Eich will continue his recently expanded role as Chief Technology Officer & Senior Vice President of Engineering, managing the organization’s product and platform engineering teams.
- Jay Sullivan, previously SVP of Products, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer. Jay will continue to drive Mozilla’s product strategy and roadmap, to lead the product and user experience teams, and to lead the Firefox OS program. He will also take a broader role in managing Mozilla’s continued evolution and growth.
- Harvey Anderson has been appointed SVP Business and Legal Affairs. In this new role he will have oversight for the apps marketplace initiative and continue to lead mobile and strategic partnerships, public policy, and legal affairs. He will also continue to serves as Corporate Secretary.
- Li Gong has been appointed Senior Vice President, Mobile Devices, and will be tasked with leading our global work advancing the adoption of Firefox OS on mobile devices, including engagement with our device partners, as well as delivery and support for our partners. Concurrently in the role of President, Asia Operations, he is tasked to broaden the presence of Mozilla within the mobile ecosystem in the region, outside of Japan. He remains CEO of our subsidiary companies in China and Taiwan.
Mozilla is uniquely positioned to bring the full power of the web to the next 2 billion people coming online, and our public benefit nature means that we can continue to invest in the Web as an open and neutral playing field for everyone, giving both commercial players and individuals around the world the opportunity to create and innovate. Our focus will continue to be embracing this uniqueness and expanding our efforts to be the catalyst of positive change in Web ecosystem.
For more information:
- Quote from Gary Kovacs: “The past two and a half years have been pivotal in the evolution and rapid growth of Mozilla,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO. “I am very proud of our accomplishments as a team. In our mission to empower the next two billion Web users, we’ve made great advances in desktop and mobile and in our ability to lead at the pace of the market. With this solid foundation and a strong team in place, this is the right time for me to announce the transition plan and a vote of confidence in the abilities of the leadership team. I am grateful for the privilege of leading this organization during this period of rapid growth, and I look forward to helping guide Mozilla’s impact on the future of mobile.
- Quote from Mitchell Baker: “Gary’s leadership has been hugely important in helping Mozilla develop deep mobile outlook and capabilities. I want to thank Gary for all the contributions that he has made to the project during this period of our evolution. I believe that we have an incredibly strong team and organization in place to lead us in writing this next chapter of Web history,” said Mitchell Baker, Executive Chair, Mozilla. “Together we will also strive to embrace our uniqueness and non-profit core, and grow with our partners and community in new ways.”
Mozilla’s mission is about advancing the Web as a platform for all. At Mozilla Research, we’re supporting this mission by experimenting with what’s next when it comes to the core technology powering the Web browser. We need to be prepared to take advantage of tomorrow’s faster, multi-core, heterogeneous computing architectures. That’s why we’ve recently begun collaborating with Samsung on an advanced technology Web browser engine called Servo.
Servo is an attempt to rebuild the Web browser from the ground up on modern hardware, rethinking old assumptions along the way. This means addressing the causes of security vulnerabilities while designing a platform that can fully utilize the performance of tomorrow’s massively parallel hardware to enable new and richer experiences on the Web. To those ends, Servo is written in Rust, a new, safe systems language developed by Mozilla along with a growing community of enthusiasts.
We are now pleased to announce with Samsung that together we are bringing both the Rust programming language and Servo, the experimental web browser engine, to Android and ARM. This is an exciting step in the evolution of both projects that will allow us to start deeper research with Servo on mobile. Samsung has already contributed an ARM backend to Rust and the build infrastructure necessary to cross-compile to Android, along with many other improvements. You can try this now by downloading the code from Github, but it’s just the beginning.
Rust, which today reached v0.6, has been in development for several years and is rapidly approaching stability. It is intended to fill many of the same niches that C++ has over the past decades, with efficient high-level, multi-paradigm abstractions, and offers precise control over hardware resources. But beyond that, it is *safe by default*, preventing entire classes of memory management errors that lead to crashes and security vulnerabilities. Rust also features lightweight concurrency primitives that make it easy for programmers to leverage the power of the many CPU cores available on current and future computing platforms.
In the coming year, we are racing to complete the first major revision of Rust – cleaning up, expanding and documenting the libraries, building out our tools to improve the user experience, and beefing up performance. At the same time, we will be putting more resources into Servo, trying to prove that we can build a fast web browser with pervasive parallelism, and in a safe, fun language. We, along with our friends at Samsung will be increasingly looking at opportunities on mobile platforms. Both of these efforts are still early stage projects and there’s a lot to do yet, so now is a good time to get involved.
To take a look at what we’re doing and contribute to the projects you can download and try the recently-released Rust 0.6 or check out the source for Rust and Servo on GitHub. Then come participate in the development process on the Rust (https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/rust-dev) and Servo (https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-servo) mailing lists.
- Brendan Eich, CTO, Mozilla
Firefox includes a new enhancement to private browsing that allows you to open a new private browsing window without closing or changing your current browsing session. You can shop for a birthday gift in a private window with your existing browsing session uninterrupted. You can also use a private browsing window to check multiple email accounts simultaneously. We are also proud to announce that Firefox for Android also supports private browsing on a per tab basis. Firefox for Android allows you to open a new private browsing tab during your current browsing session, allowing you to switch between private and standard tabs within the same browsing session.
Firefox comes with a new Download Manager in the Firefox toolbar, so you can monitor, view and locate downloaded files without having to switch to another window. The new Download Manager makes downloading files with Firefox even easier. Firefox for Android allows you to customize the shortcuts on the home screen with your favorite or most frequently visited sites, so they are only a tap away.
Firefox for Android adds support for additional devices running on a less powerful processor architecture, ARMv6 processors. This includes popular phones like Samsung Galaxy Next, HTC Aria, HTC Legend, Samsung Dart, Samsung Galaxy Pop and the Samsung Galaxy Q. In September, Mozilla set to expand support for ARMv6 devices to bring an awesome Web experience to even more users. We are happy to say that now we are able to bring a better Web experience to close to 50 million more phones.
For developers, Firefox includes getUserMedia, an important part of the WebRTC specification. It allows developers to quickly and easily write code that accesses the user’s camera or microphones. Firefox also includes a developer toolbox that provides quick access to developer tools in one convenient window and gives developers easy-to-remember ways to switch between tools. Canvas Blend Modes allows developers to define how they want Canvas to draw over an existing image to create different visual effects.
For more information:
This week we’re celebrating Mozilla’s 15th anniversary. How can you help us commemorate 15 years of a better Web?
Read about it
Check out www.mozilla.org/contribute to read 15 facts about Mozilla, our biggest milestones and how you can join the Mozilla project. You can also read Mitchell Baker’s own reflections on the past 15 years and a look ahead to what’s next for Mozilla. Go here for a more in-depth look at the history of Mozilla and our 1998 origin.
Tweet your #Webstory
Starting today, the @Firefox and @Mozilla Twitter accounts will be telling our #Webstory by posting 15 facts about Mozilla. We invite you to join in and tell your own #Webstory, too. Give us a tweet, an image or a video about how you’ve contributed to 15 years of Mozilla, what Mozilla and Firefox mean to you, or a memorable moment you’ve had on the Web. Be sure to post on Twitter with the hashtag #webstory. We’ll be retweeting and responding throughout the day.
Make your #Webstory
Tell your own #Webstory with one of our Webmaker projects. Make a list of your own 15 favorite things about the Web, or make a video telling us about your first experience with the Web, and what you want it to look like 15 years from now.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped us make the Web better along the way. The success of our mission depends on participation from people like you. Find out how you can get involved or support Mozilla to help make a difference in the lives of users everywhere for the next 15 years – and beyond.
As high-performance games on the Web move to rival native performance, Mozilla is also
opening up the path to Web-based games on mobile. We are working with premium game
publishers such as Disney, EA and ZeptoLab who are using the same technology to bring
performance optimizations to their top-rated games.
Developers can submit fun games and apps to the Firefox Marketplace now. The Firefox
Marketplace is currently available as a preview on Firefox for Android and will come to Firefox OS later this year.
If you are at GDC this week, you can check out the Unreal Engine running on Firefox at the NVIDIA booth