Today we’re excited to announce the formalization of our partnership with the BBC to support free and open internet technologies.
While the BBC and Mozilla have been working together on digital skills for some time—the BBC’s Connected Studios regularly run their workshops at Mozilla’s London community space, and we are working together on a number of digital learning initiatives that involve both Open Badges and Webmaker projects—this is the first time Mozilla and the BBC have formalized the relationship with a memorandum of understanding.
Mozilla will join three other organizations, the Open Data Institute, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and the Europeana Foundation to support free and open internet technologies. Mozilla and the BBC will continue to work together on open technical standards, web literacy, education projects, and a number of other shared initiatives. The agreements precede a year of programming and events that support Web and Digital Creativity across the UK that the BBC will kick off in 2015.
You can read more about the Memorandum of Understanding over at the BBC website.
Today, we published our annual State of Mozilla report. You can find full details on the report website, including excerpts from speeches at our recent Mozilla Summit. Included below is a portion of Mitchell Baker’s speech about who Mozilla is:
“We are a global community with a common purpose: to build the Internet the world needs.
We do this by building products, empowering communities, teaching and learning, and shaping environments. We do our best when these things are woven together into a single strand. No one else has both the vision and the opportunity to make it real.
We can make the Internet knowable, interoperable, ours. We can be champions of the Web where people know more, do more, and do better. This is us. This is Mozilla.”
Mozilla is a nonprofit organization and global community dedicated to the mission of promoting openness, innovation and opportunity online. We create products that capture these values and that people around the world love and choose to use, like Firefox.
Mozilla is working with operator, hardware and developer partners around the world to offer more choice and control in the mobile industry with Firefox OS, which makes smartphones more accessible to people around the globe. Firefox OS smartphones are the first devices powered completely by Web technologies to deliver the performance, personalization and price you want with a beautiful, intuitive and easy-to-use experience that is unmatched by any other phone.
Firefox OS offers two ways to discover and use apps. An adaptive app search, which is a brand new concept for smartphones that literally transforms your phone to match your interests in any moment, and the Firefox Marketplace to help you easily discover popular global apps and relevant local apps.
In just a few months since the Firefox Marketplace opened with the first Firefox OS launch, we’ve seen significant momentum with thousands of apps submitted and available today, including some that are currently exclusive to the Firefox Marketplace, like the Manana reading app, Senzari Music Graph, Jaxogram photo-sharing app and games like TrippyTap.
Some of the favorite popular global apps include Badoo, Box, Chatty (phrase translator), Cut the Rope, Discovery, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph – Fix-It Felix, Easy Taxi, Evernav, Facebook, KAYAK, multiConvert, Poppit from Pogo, Projector (task manager), Rhapsody, Sticky (photo stickers), SoundCloud, The New York Times, The Weather Channel, TimeOut, TLC, TMZ, Tuenti, Twitter, wger (diet and exercise), World Radio Player and YouTube.
Mozilla and partners engage with developers around the world to ensure people have a great selection of relevant local apps.
Popular local Firefox OS apps include:
• Spain: Despegar, Tuenti, El Pais, Cinco Dias, La Caixa and Tiempo
• Poland: Tablica, Sport.pl, Pogoda and WP.pl
• Colombia: Despegar, Guru, Gol Caracol and El Tiempo
• Venezuela: Globovision, Despegar, Cinex Movil, Ultimas Noticias, Tu Descuenton & Lider en Deportes
• Peru: Guia Desastres, Despegar, Peru Cookbook and OLX
• Uruguay: Despegar, ibus, OLX
• Germany: Kicker, Leo, Immoscout24 and General-Anzeiger Bonn
• Mexico: CNN Mexico, Despegar, Media Tiempo, Quien, El Universal, Chilango & M3
• Hungary: Mozi24 and Aprod
• Brazil: UOL, OLX, Decolar, GuiaMais, BOL, SporTV, Dieta e Saude, Editora Globo, Galinha Pintadinha, Kekanto and Vivo Chat
“Mozilla is dedicated to putting the power of the Web in everyone’s hands and Firefox OS shows the promise and potential of the Web, without the need for proprietary apps and closed platforms,” said Rick Fant, Mozilla Vice President of Firefox Marketplace. “We are excited by the developer interest in the short time since we’ve opened the Firefox Marketplace and are impressed by the creativity and innovation inspired by Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs.”
Mozilla introduced new WebAPIs to unlock the power of the Web and enable the Web to be the world’s largest marketplace. These WebAPIs provide access to everything from the dialer and camera to Bluetooth, SMS, accelerometer and more. Developers around the world can now build rich and fun Web experiences that could previously only be developed with proprietary native code, specific to each platform.
Firefox OS gives developers flexible payment options including operator billing and an open API to execute in-app payments, which Mozilla aims to standardize for all Web browsers and operating systems. Mozilla is working with the Inneractive ad network to create a simple library for integrating ads into apps and games specifically for Firefox OS.
Firefox OS levels the playing field in the mobile industry and addresses issues like app fragmentation and discoverability. Porting apps to Firefox OS is a simple process that takes only a few minutes, so developers don’t have to worry about building for multiple operating systems. Firefox OS apps are available across devices and platforms and your content is tied to you, not your devices or operating system.
This means developers can create and distribute apps without gatekeepers, while people and their content don’t get locked into devices or platforms.
John Jackson, IDC Research Vice President said, “Many of the new markets Firefox OS is expanding into offer significant volume potential, and contribute to Web ecosystem benefits. This growth underscores operators’ strategic commitment to the platform and their satisfaction with consumer adoption to date. Firefox OS is entering its second phase of expansion at a time when other aspiring third smartphone platforms continue to struggle for position, scale, and sustainability in the competitive market. The platform continues to add new features that are appropriate for its target markets, striking a balance between value to consumers and affordability. Perhaps more importantly, Firefox OS continues to attract new apps and content partnerships. These are the lifeblood for a platform and should further drive consumer adoption and spur innovation in developer communities.”
Firefox Marketplace is included with all Firefox OS smartphones and a preview is currently available on Firefox for Android, Windows and Mac.
Firefox OS smartphones first went on sale in July and will be available in more than 10 markets around the world by the end of the year.
For more information:
Firefox connects you with your passions via the Web, whether it be music, entertainment, lifestyle or sports. That’s why we are excited to announce that Mozilla is sponsoring the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the world’s premier series of professional surfing events, taking place November 12th – December 20th in the famed North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Surfing is a sport driven by fierce loyalty – and we don’t want loyal fans to miss a minute of the action. One way to show your passion and enthusiasm is to add a custom theme to your browser that commemorates the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. With the new FirefoxOS: Vans Triple Crown of Surfing app, fans will be able follow their favorite surfers and live stream all three events that make up the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition – the Reef Hawaiian Pro, Van’s World Cup of Surfing, and Billabong Pipe Masters — all from their FirefoxOS phone. You can download the app from the Firefox Marketplace.
Fans will have the opportunity to celebrate the freedom, individuality, and live what they love by swinging by the on-site Firefox Fan Tent where they can kick back, participate in social media contests and get awesome surf swag, including sunglasses, beach towels, and waterproof stickers – all the necessities for a day in the sand. Firefox will also have a VIP Athlete Area, where the courageous competitors can stop by to unwind in between waves. They will be able to relax in the lounge area before getting back on their boards. Stay tuned to @Firefox on Twitter and the Firefox page on Facebook for images and videos right from the event.
Mozilla created Firefox to be an amazingly fun, safe and fast Web browser that embodies the values of our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity online. In the nine years since we first launched Firefox, we have moved and shaped the Web into the most valuable public resource of our time
We are excited to join together with the global community of Mozillians to start the celebration of Firefox’s golden ninth birthday on November 9. To celebrate, we’d like to highlight nine of our favorite gifts we’ve given the Web over the past year.
- Firefox in Mobile: Firefox has always made a significant impact on the Web and we’ve recently grown Firefox to support not just Windows, Mac and Linux, but also Android phones and tablets. As more and more people access the Web from a mobile device than ever before, our Firefox for Android Web browser consistently offers users an amazing browsing experience, receives 4.5 stars in the Google Play Store and has been downloaded millions of times.
- Growing the Firefox Family: We also expanded the Firefox family this year with the birth and launch of the first ever Firefox OS smartphones – devices based entirely on open Web technologies. To date, we have launched Firefox OS in nine countries and have thousands of apps in our Firefox Marketplace.
- Social: We’ve been working on ways to integrate social sites and services directly into Firefox to quickly and easily connect you with your friends and family. Last year, we launched with Facebook as the first Firefox social integration partner. Soon after that we added Cliqz, and Mixi and we are working with more social sites, services and apps to make your browsing experience more social, customizable and personal.
- Private: We are proud to be named the Most Trusted Internet Company for Privacy in 2012, according to a study performed by the Ponemon Institute. We also just launched the Lightbeam Firefox Add-on, which brings to light the array of first and third party companies people interact with everyday across the Web in a visual way.
- Secure: We shipped Mixed Content Blocker in Firefox to keep you secure, wherever you surf the Web. Firefox includes Click to Play plugins. By allowing you to decide which sites need to use plugins, Firefox will help protect them and keep their browser running smoothly.
- WebRTC: Firefox enables video calls and file-sharing directly in the browser, all without the need for plugins or third-party software with Web Real Time Communications.
We’ve got some exciting things coming soon including an updated browser interface and Firefox optimized for Windows 8 tablets. We can’t wait to see what other new innovations come to the Web in the next year! Join in on Twitter to celebrate Firefox. Tweet the hashtag #HappyBirthdayFirefox with your favorite Firefox memory or feature all week.
We are excited to announce that Firefox for Android will be preinstalled on new mobile devices this year. Firefox for Android will be included on the new Kobo Arc Tablets and the GIGABYTE GSmart Simba SX1 smartphone.
Firefox is the fun, safe and fast browser that puts the power of the Web in your hands. Firefox for Android makes mobile browsing easy and has an intuitive design, the most powerful customization support of any mobile browser and leads the industry in pioneering privacy and security features like Do Not Track, Private Browsing and Guest Browsing. Firefox puts you in control of your Web experience with the ability to synchronize your browsing history, open tabs and passwords across devices.
Kobo Arc Tablets:
Firefox for Android will be preinstalled on the new Kobo Arc 7, Kobo Arc 7HD and Kobo Arc 10HD tablets from Kobo, a global leader in eReading. The devices, designed for the most passionate readers, are hitting stores across North America.
Together, Kobo tablets and Firefox for Android ensure readers have a beautiful experience – whether you’re reading a book or surfing the Web. Like Kobo’s Readability features, Firefox has a Reader feature to offer another way for Kobo customers to view and read Web content by removing advertisements, adjusting pictures and increasing font size to show a more clear view of the page. Everything in your Firefox Reading List is available offline, so you can catch up on reading when Internet access is unavailable, like on an airplane or subway.
The Kobo Arc tablets are now available at Kobo.com in the US and Canada with additional markets coming soon.
GIGABYTE GSmart Simba SX1 Smartphones
Firefox for Android is preinstalled on the GSmart Simba SX1, a dual SIM smartphone that supports three-way calling across both SIMs.
This will bring an amazing Web experience to GSmart Simba SX1 users and, combined with the 21Mbps high speed connection available, gives users the security, privacy and personalization they want right out of the box and in the palm of their hand.
The GSmart Simba SX1 will be available in Russia, Ukraine, EEU, Belarus and Taiwan from November, and rolled out globally from December 2013.
“We are pleased to partner with Kobo and GIGABYTE to offer Firefox as a pre-installed Web browser on Kobo Arc tablets and the GSmart Simba SX1 smartphone.” said Karen Rudnitski, Senior Product Manager for Firefox for Android. “Firefox is dedicated to offering users the best and most personal mobile browsing experience and we are happy to be able to bring that experience directly to users, globally.”
For more information:
At Mozilla, we work to move the Web forward as the platform for creating and consuming great experiences. Recently, we’ve focused on making the Web capable to deliver the most powerful desktop applications possible and awesome gaming experiences to as many people as possible.
Graphic design engineers and gamers can now enjoy the flexibility of picking up their work or games anywhere they have access to any HTML5-enabled browser without having to worry about performance or plugins. This video demo shows what great Web-based gaming experiences look like in Firefox:
Autodesk will also leverage this technology to make sophisticated 3D design and engineering applications such as 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Inventor software available through any HTLM5-enabled Web browser.
“As we launched our latest Amazon EC2 instance type to bring further capabilities to our customers today, we are excited to collaborate with OTOY to extend the reach of this powerful and disruptive technology,” said Matt Wood, General Manager, Data Science at AWS. “The combination of OTOY and Amazon EC2 G2 instances provides an immediate and compelling solution for customers looking to build graphics-intensive applications on top of these instances.”
“Designers and engineers have an increasing need to be mobile, accessing the tools they need anytime, anywhere and from any device. Simple viewing and mark-up of documents is no longer sufficient – they need to be able to access powerful 3D design applications, be able to do real design work and not worry about sacrificing performance,” said Jeff Kowalski, Chief Technology Officer at Autodesk. “This is now possible with technology made possible by Autodesk, Amazon and OTOY.”
“With this news, AWS infrastructure can be leveraged to deploy high-performance NVIDIA GRID GPU graphics on-demand, not only to thin-clients, but also to any HTML5 webpage using ORBX.js. “The OTOY ORBX AMI is the easiest way for Software-as-a-Service companies to immediately access the video streaming capabilities in NVIDIA GRID instances,” said Steven Parker, GM of Professional Design and Visualization, NVIDIA. “Many graphics-intensive applications, from Autodesk 3D design software to games, can be hosted by AWS on NVIDIA GRID GPUs and streamed using OTOY software to a browser on any device.”
Telefonica is launching Firefox OS phones this week in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Both the ZTE Open and ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire will be available in Mexico starting today, while the ZTE Open is available in Peru, and the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire is available in Uruguay. Just last week, Telefonica also launched a new Firefox OS device – the LG Fireweb in Brazil. Firefox OS is now available in nine countries with more coming soon.
Firefox OS smartphones are the first devices powered completely by Web technologies to deliver the performance, personalization and price you want in a smartphone with a beautiful, intuitive and easy-to-use experience that is unmatched by any other phone. Firefox OS has all the things you need from a smartphone as well as the things you want like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, HERE Maps with offline capabilities, much-loved features like the Firefox Web browser, the Firefox Marketplace and much more.
Firefox OS features a brand new concept for smartphones – an adaptive app search that literally transforms the phone to meet your needs and interests at any moment. Simply start to type what you are interested in and instantly get a whole new customized phone experience based on your needs. You can discover apps to use once or download to keep, giving you a completely customized experience with the exact content you want, when you want it.
You can also find apps in the Firefox Marketplace, which already has popular global apps like Badoo, Box, EA games like Poppit, Facebook, KAYAK, SoundCloud, The Weather Channel, TimeOut, TMZ, Tuenti and Twitter.
New Firefox OS phones will have the latest version of Firefox OS (1.1), which includes many performance improvements and new features like MMS messaging. Existing Firefox OS users will be upgraded to the latest version soon.
For More Information:
Editor’s Note: Brendan Eich, Mozilla CTO, posted on his blog about Mozilla and the recent Cisco announcement about H.264. This is reposted below:
As I noted last year, one of the biggest challenges to open source software has been the patent status of video codecs. The most popular codec, H.264, is patent-encumbered and licensed by MPEG LA, under terms that prevent distributing it with open source products including Firefox. Cisco has announced today that they are going to release a gratis, high quality, open source H.264 implementation — along with gratis binary modules compiled from that source and hosted by Cisco for download. This move enables any open source project to incorporate Cisco’s H.264 module without paying MPEG LA license fees.
We are grateful for Cisco’s contribution, and we will add support for Cisco’s OpenH.264 binary modules to Firefox soon. These modules will be usable by downstream distributions of Firefox, as well as by any other project. In addition, we will work with Cisco to put the OpenH264 project on a sound footing and to ensure that it is governed well. We have already been collaborating very closely with Cisco on our WebRTC implementation, and we are excited to see Cisco deepening their commitment to the Open Web. Or, as Jonathan Rosenberg, Cisco CTO for Collaboration puts it,
Cisco has a long-standing history of supporting and integrating open standards, open formats and open source technologies as a model for delivering greater flexibility and interoperability to users. We look forward to collaborating with Mozilla to help bring H.264
to the Web and to the Internet.
Here’s a little more detail about how things are going to work: Cisco is going to release, under the BSD license, an H.264 stack, and build it into binary modules compiled for all popular or feasibly supportable platforms, which can be loaded into any application (including Firefox). The binary modules will be available for download from Cisco, and Cisco will pay for the patent license from the MPEG LA. Firefox will automatically download and install the appropriate binary module onto each user’s machine when needed, unless disabled in the user’s preferences.
Interoperability is critical on the Internet, and H.264 is the dominant video codec on the Web. The vast majority of HTML5 streaming video is encoded using H.264, and most softphones and videoconferencing systems use H.264. H.264 chipsets are widely available and can be found in most current smartphones, including many Firefox OS phones. Firefox already supports H.264 for the video element using platform codecs where they are available, but as noted in my last blog post on the topic, not all OSes ship with H.264 included. Provided we can get AAC audio decoders to match, using Cisco’s OpenH264 binary modules allows us to extend support to other platforms and uses of H.264.
While Cisco’s move helps add H.264 support to Firefox on all OSes, we will continue to support VP8, both for the HTML video element and for WebRTC. VP8 and H.264 are both good codecs for WebRTC, and we believe that at this point, users are best served by having both choices.
Of course, this is not a not a complete solution. In a perfect world, codecs, like other basic Internet technologies such as TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML, would be fully open and free for anyone to modify, recompile, and redistribute without license agreements or fees. Mozilla is fully committed to working towards that better future. To that end, we are developing Daala, a fully open next generation codec. Daala is still under development, but our goal is to leapfrog H.265 and VP9, building a codec that will be both higher-quality and free of encumberances. Mozilla has assembled an engineering dream team to develop Daala, including Jean-Marc Valin, co-inventor of Opus, the new standard for audio encoding; Theora project lead Tim Terriberry; and recently Xiph co-founders Jack Moffitt, author of Icecast; and Monty Montgomery, the author of Ogg Vorbis.
Cullen Jennings, Cisco Fellow, Collaboration Group, says:
Cisco is very excited about the future of royalty free codecs. Daala is one of the most interesting ongoing technical developments in the codec space and we have been contributing to the project.
At Mozilla we always come back to the question of what’s good for the users and in this case that means interoperation of copious H.264 content across OSes and other browsers. We’ve already started looking at how to integrate the Cisco-hosted H.264 binary module, and we hope to have something ready for users in early 2014.
Watch this space for more exciting developments in WebRTC, Daala, and open web video.
Share Your Firefox with Friends & Family While Keeping Your Web Information Private with Guest Browsing
Firefox for Android offers Guest Browsing to let you share your mobile device with friends and family without having to worry about them viewing your personal information like browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, form data or open tabs. Guest Browsing is designed to quickly and easily lock your personal data and provide your guest with a fresh new browsing experience. Once you enable Guest Browsing Firefox restarts with a fresh profile and deletes that guest’s information when the guest session is closed. This means you can let friends and family borrow your phone or tablet to surf the Web and make sure your own information is safe and secure.
To enable Guest Browsing, just tap on the Firefox Menu button, tap on “Tools” and tap “New Guest Session.” Friends can exit the guest browsing session by tapping on the Menu button and then selecting “Exit Guest Session.”
Firefox for Android also helps you easily customize your Android device with your favorite photos. You can set an image as your device’s wallpaper or add a photo to a contact right from your current Web page. Simply press and hold the desired image to bring up the Context Menu and select “Set Image As” to customize your device with an image from the Web.
Firefox for Android adds support Ukrainian, Irish and Romanian locales and is is now available in 27 languages worldwide.
For More Information:
- Information on Mixed Content Blocker in this release
- Release Notes for Firefox for Android
- Download Firefox for Android
- Release Notes for Firefox Windows, Mac and Linux
- Download Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux
- Firefox Press Kits