Hello is an interesting service Mozilla has in Firefox that provides a WebRTC-based alternative to services like Skype. Mozilla has included it in Firefox for some versions but have now decided to drop the Hello addon from the upcoming Firefox 49. Version 49, which is expected to be released in September, will come without support for Hello. Support for the underlying WebRTC technology itself may remain intact.
A few days ago, Mozilla released a new version of Firefox for Windows and Linux. Version 46 comes with security fixes and a couple of new features under the hood. But the most notable change is for Linux users: they got the first official version built using the GTK+ 3 framework.
Mark Mayo, Mozilla CEO and chief manager of Firefox, has introduced project Tofino. In that project, there are a number of GUI experiments for a web browser which Mozilla is working on. Firefox development is not going to be affected but it's a fact that Firefox usage has been going down steadily. It is interesting that the whole project is built on top of a Chromium-based engine Electron, created by GitHub for Atom editor. Instead of XUL used in Mozilla, the browser's user interface is created using React.
Mozilla developers have decided to switch from doing frequent planned releases of Firefox to a variable schedule. From now, Firefox will quit the version race started by Chrome and will be released less frequently.
Today, Mozilla is rolling out a new version of Firefox. The new version includes a number of changes you might be interested in knowing. The new build should be delivered to your PC tomorrow or today using the default Firefox update service. Let's see what has changed under the hood of this new build.
As you might be knowing, Mozilla was going to remove the option xpinstall.signatures.required from about:config in Firefox 44. Once this option would have been removed, the user would have been unable to bypass the digital signature enforcement for add-ons. Mozilla has changed their mind and decided to keep the option till the Firefox 46 release.
As you may already know, Firefox 44 and above won't allow you to run unsigned add-ons. Mozilla developers decided to remove the ability to disable the signature enforcement, which can still be disabled in Firefox 43. However, it was announced that the stable branch of Firefox will get a new option which will allow the user to temporarily load unsigned extensions.
Mozilla developers have announced that in Firefox 45, a new implementation of the API for browser extensions will be added. It is called WebExtensions and uses native HTML technology. WebExtensions will make it possible to create extensions compatible with Google Chrome and vice versa.
With Firefox 43, Mozilla added detection of touchscreen devices. If Firefox is running on a touchscreen device, every time a text field gets focus via a touchscreen, the touch keyboard appears. If you are interested in testing this feature but you don't have a touchscreen device yet, you can force the Firefox browser to show the on-screen keyboard anyway.
Mozilla has made Firefox Hello, its WebRTC-based communication feature as a system addon. This change should come to the stable channel of Firefox with version 45. If you have no use for Firefox Hello, you might want to disable it. However, it is not clear or obvious how to do that so let me show you.