Following Mozilla’s announcement of the release of Firefox Hello in beta in October, the company has now announced the roll out of the service into the general release version of Firefox 34. This post relates to the release of “Hello” into version 35 of the Firefox Beta browser.
The result of a partnership between Mozilla and Telefónica, and leveraging the OpenTok Platform, Firefox Hello allows people to make video calls directly within the browser, with or without an account.
Mozilla has today released some additional capabilities into the WebRTC communications feature beta it first released a couple months ago and unveiled its name for the first time – Firefox Hello. As always, we’re delighted that OpenTok is the platform of choice for companies building innovative services such as this that are able to scale up to hundreds of thousands of users.
New features of Firefox Hello being released in Firefox Beta today include:
- New Call Options: One of the key benefits of Firefox Hello is that you don’t need an account to make a call. However, if there are people that you connect with regularly, you can all sign up for a Firefox Account. That enables you to initiate calls directly from your contact list without needing to share a callback link first.
- Contacts integration: Contacts management has been added for the first time, with functionality for manual input or importing through a Google account. This will make it far easier to call these contacts from within Firefox.
As Mozilla rolls out Firefox Beta to users over the next few weeks, they will be able to connect with anyone using a WebRTC-enabled browser (such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera) with no need to download software or plugins. These are just a few of the improvements that have been made since the last release.
We know readers of this blog are enthusiasts and thought leaders when it comes to WebRTC implementations. Three months ago Mozilla launched its own experimental WebRTC feature powered by OpenTok into its Firefox Nightly channel. Now they’re calling on you to get involved and test it out as they release it into Firefox Beta.
Since launching this experimental feature it has evolved, and will continue to evolve, but the goal remains the same, to make audio and video communications simple and connect everyone with a WebRTC enabled browser.
When creating new services and products, organizations always face a challenge whether to buy or build key underlying components and functionality. As WebRTC attracts an increasing degree of interest, we regularly hear from customers that they are considering the trade-off around the decision to buy or build. Many go so far as to try and build their own real time video or audio solution before they turn to a hosted platform like OpenTok. Not surprisingly given the business we are in, we come down pretty strongly on the side of leveraging a hosted service.
**July 25 UPDATE Since launching their experimental service powered by OpenTok over a month ago, Mozilla has received a lot of positive feedback. As of today, they are making the WebRTC feature available through Aurora so that they can gather feedback from even more users. It’s important to note that they are still in the testing and experimental phase and are keen to get your feedback as always. We’ll keep you posted as the feature develops.**
TokBox has always believed in the power of WebRTC to change the way that people communicate in the digital world. Not just in browsers, but also on phones and other connected devices as well as the amazing devices of the future that we know are coming.