Firefox 35.0 launches with new Hello video chat and MP4 playback on Mac

14 Jan 2015

Mozilla has released version 35.0 of its popular web browser Firefox, featuring a number of additions, fixes and an updated edition of its video chat app, Firefox Hello.

Hello allows users to make free video and voice calls directly from WebRTC-supported browsers such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera, and Firefox 35.0 simplifies the call process by eliminating some steps.

Users can now simply click the ‘Start a Conversation’ button to create a window that shows an in-browser self-view until the person they have invited to chat joins in. 

“Conversations should begin by video as simply as they do in person,” wrote Mozilla in a blog post.

“The fact is they don’t. You have to give up your email address, set up an account and share personal information, as well as download software before starting to talk. Recently, we introduced Firefox Hello, the first global communications system built directly into a browser to help make things easier.”

Other improvements include built-in support for H264 (MP4) on Mac OS X (Snow Leopard and newer through native APIs), styling changes to increase responsiveness, and an improved high quality image resizing performance. A full list of changes is available via Mozilla’s website.

In November, Mozilla announced Yahoo! would become its default search partner over the next five years, ending a collaboration with search giant Google that stretched back to 2004. The decision was likely to be a consequence of Google creating its own Chrome browser in 2011.

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic