Mozilla just launched Firefox 35, which includes improvements to its video chat offering. Firefox Hello was first introduced in testing in October. New functionality has been added to make it available for primetime in Firefox 35.
Mozila is dubbing it “a simpler way to communicate”. It lets you make video calls to anyone using a WebRTC-enabled browser (like Firefox, Chrome, or Opera). It’s free, and you don’t have to sign up for an account to use it. Plus it’s built directly into the actual browser.
“Before Firefox Hello, making a video call meant giving up your email address and possibly more personal information as well as downloading software before you could start the conversation,” Mozilla says. “Now we’re making it even easier to say ‘hello’ by eliminating some of the call steps and allowing you to save and name your favorite conversations, so you can drop into them as soon as you click a link.”
It utilizes a new rooms-based conversations model. To use it, just find the Hello icon in the menu bar or customization panel, and click “Start a conversation”. A window will open showing a self-view until the person you invited clicks on the link and joins the room. You should get an audio notification, and the Hello icon turns blue.
Conversations have unique URLs. You can create multiple conversations and name them, so you can return to them later without having to start new ones with new links.
“For those of you who want to contact someone directly, you just need to make sure both parties have Firefox Accounts,” Mozilla says. “If your contacts have a Firefox Account and are online, then you can call these contacts directly from Firefox. You can sign into your Firefox Account on every computer you use, so you can be reached at home or at work. If you have a Google account, you can easily import your contacts to your Hello address book. Simply select ‘Import Contacts’ from the address book and then sign into your Google account to give permission.”
Firefox Hello was developed in partnership with Telefónica, and uses ToxBox technology. Mozilla says it will be testing features like screen sharing and online collaboration.
Image via Mozilla