Mozilla Firefox Adds H.264 Video For Android

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Firefox for Android users can now enjoy HTML5 H.264 video playback thanks to an upgrade from Mozilla

Mozilla has expanded Firefox for Android to include HTML5 video capabilities, namely H.264 video playback.

In a 29 November blog post, Chris Peterson, developer on Mozilla’s Firefox for Android team, said Web developers have been using Adobe Flash to play H.264 video on Firefox for Android, but Adobe no longer supports Flash for Android. Thus, Mozilla needed a new solution, so Firefox now uses Android’s “Stagefright” library to access hardware video decoders, Peterson said.

Android Upgrade

Firefox currently supports H.264 playback on any device running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and any Samsung device running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), he said. “We have temporarily blocked non-Samsung devices running Ice Cream Sandwich until we can fix or workaround some bugs,” Peterson said. Support for Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices is planned for a later release, he added.

To test whether Firefox supports H.264 on your device, try playing this “Big Buck Bunny” video.

For users whose devices are not yet supported, Peterson said:

“If your device is not supported yet, you can manually enable H.264 for testing. Enter about:config in Firefox for Android’s address bar, then search for ‘stagefright.’ Toggle the ‘stagefright.force-enabled’ preference to true. H.264 should work on most Ice Cream Sandwich devices, but Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices will probably crash.”

New Beta

Meanwhile, Mozilla announced a new beta of Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux that became available for download and testing on 26 November.

This update includes JavaScript improvements that make Web apps and games perform better and support for World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Touch Events as well as MozTouch events. Firefox Beta also supports Retina Display for Mac users.

The beta adds new IonMonkey support. IonMonkey is a new JavaScript just-in-time (JIT) compiler that provides a more efficient way for Firefox to process JavaScript. With IonMonkey, Firefox will perform faster with Web apps, games and other JavaScript-heavy pages.

Moreover, Firefox Beta can disable insecure content on HTTPS secure websites to maintain the privacy of users’ communication with the website. This feature can be enabled in about:config.

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Originally published on eWeek.

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