The latest build of popular Firefox browser, Firefox 34 allows users to make video calls right from the browser without having to download any sort of plugins or third-party apps. The capability is rolled out as Firefox Hello feature built jointly by Spanish operator Telefonica and Firefox team. The feature uses the WebRTC expertise acquired with Telefonica’s purchase of TokBox in late 2012.
Firefox Hello makes it easy to communicate with friends and family who might not have the same video chat service, software or hardware as you. However, with Firefox Hello such groups can now make a call right from the browser without having to create an account. The best part is, it charges no money for making calls (audio and video).
The free service looks set to put the foundation on a level playing ground with Microsoft’s Skype and Google’s Hangouts through the use of an HTML5-based technology called WebRTC (Real-Time Communication). Hello is scheduled to roll out over “the next few weeks” and will allow users to connect with their friends or family members who have a WebRTC enabled browser.
Well, the feature is ready to go soon after you open Firefox by clicking on the ‘Chat bubble’ icon under the customize menu. Simply share a callback link with the person you want to connect with and when they click on the link the call is made.
Now, if you would like to use Hello to make calls every time with your friends, you can benefit from an added advantage. Simply sign up for a Firefox account for even easier one-click calling. Once done, you can initiate or receive direct calls with other Firefox Account users, without having to share a callback link.
There’s also contacts management capability added to the release. You can add contacts to your address book manually or import contacts from your Google account to Firefox Hello. Simply select ‘Import Contacts’ from the address book and then sign into your Google account to give permission.
As mentioned earlier, these features are still in the preliminary stage of development and require testing by users. Many more improvements will be made and added in the near future. So test them out and let Firefox know what you think about the feature.