Firefox Mobile: Where it stands now
We sat down with Mozilla's Jay Sullivan to chat about the Firefox browser for mobile phones.
Just to get it out of the way, Mozilla had no official news to share at CTIA 2010 in Las Vegas. That didn't stop us from catching up with Jay Sullivan, Mozilla's vice president of mobile, to lay a finger on the pulse of Firefox's browser for mobile phones. (After all, why should Opera ?)
Mozilla continues to actively develop for Nokia's Maemo/MeeGo platform, the host of the first-ever
There's even more bad news: Mozilla has put the skids on developing(it reached its fourth alpha stage) as a result of some decisions going forward (Silverlight and XNA, to be specific) that Mozilla does not use to write its browser--essentially creating a coding impasse. Unless or until Microsoft can provide a native development kit (NDK), work on Firefox mobile for Windows phones has flat-out stopped.
What about video?
When asked about how Firefox will handle video playback on mobile going forward, Sullivan's answer was consistent with Mozilla's one-for-all programming philosophy. Firefox will support HTML 5 video tags on all its browsers, leaving it up to producers to encode their videos with the new standards, so said videos can play back in Firefox mobile as they would from the desktop.
On mobile handsets that harbor Adobe's Flash plug-in, it's possible to enable support for that video technology, too. However, Mozilla disabled Flash by default at the n'th moment before the browser's final release, citing that the video playback quality in Firefox just wasn't up to snuff. A YouTube extension for Firefox mobile provided the workaround users needed to get YouTube videos to play.
While Mozilla's Sullivan made no promises, we're keeping those fingers crossed that production on Android will include a public alpha in the next few months. A spate of mobile-ready add-ons will be sure to join the few dozen that already exist.