A very serious security hole has been discovered in Firefox for Android that allows a website to force the browser to download and run potentially damaging files, usually without the user's knowledge or interaction. The vulnerability was first described and demonstrated publicly on September 9th as part of a posting meant to advertise the attack as being for sale. The method for exploiting the weakness simply requires a webserver to instruct Firefox for Android to initiate a download, after which the downloaded file is automatically opened or executed (depending on the file type).
Mozilla UI Engineer Lucas Rocha, in a post to his blog earlier today, announced Firefox's "biggest UI change … since [its] first native release back in June last year."
The UI update, Rocha explains, includes a completely redesigned and rewritten Awesomescreen, which combines the interactive and functional aspects of the start page and the old Awesomescreen into one page with super-smooth swipable tabs. For those who aren't familiar with Mozilla's mobile browser, the Awesomescreen allows users to quickly get a handle on their bookmarks and browsing history.
We know there are more than a few of you out there who are hooked on PushBullet, the pushing, pulling, syncing, file and information multitool extraordinaire. Until now the app was limited to Android, Chrome, and a more generic web interface (if you can call that limited) but today they've released a Firefox extension, for those users who prefer Mozilla's infinitely extensible web browser. Version 1.0 was uploaded this weekend, ready for testing with the greater PushBullet service.
The browser wars have seen a strange resurgence in the mobile world, as each platform brings its own-branded browser (Safari for iOS, Chrome for Android, IE for Windows Phone), and competitors see this as a new opportunity to gain more relevance after the desktop arena begins to settle. Mozilla certainly seems to think so as it starts to tease some new features it's currently working on for its Android-based Firefox app.
The Play Store's web market has come quite a long way since it was first announced back in February of 2011. Still, that doesn't mean it's perfect - among others, there are quite a few filter options still on the request list. For example, many users want to separate their free and paid apps in the My Apps interface. Thanks to a Greasemonkey script Artem just stumbled across, now you can.
The browser wars wage on in the mobile space just as it does on the desktop. Today, Mozilla fires another shot across Chrome's bow with Firefox 14 beta. The update, available in the Play Store, comes complete with a new UI, Flash support, and a bunch of other little improvements.
The new version comes with an updated minimum requirement of Android 2.2 or higher. The new UI shows its Froyo-y heritage, too.
The team behind Firefox for Android teased the upcoming release with a tablet-friendly design back in late August, and the final version of FF9 just landed in the Android Market. The update not only features a specialized tablet interface, but also boosts performance and startup speed and brings some HTML5 tweaks to the scene, like camera input support and form validation.
The tablet interface offers some nice features over its phone-centric counterpart, like full-screen browsing in portrait, optimized tabs for easy thumb-switching between open pages, and a quick access buttons on the Action Bar.
Firefox is finally getting flash support. Support for the plugin landed in the nightly builds a few days ago - meaning you can try it yourself, right now.
If you want to experience the magic of flash on Firefox, you can try out the latest trunk build right here (pick the .apk file). A word of warning though, it crashes. A lot.
It really works!
Luckily they've got tons of time to work the bugs out.
Jonathan Nightingale, Mozilla's director of Firefox Engineering, announced recently that Firefox's Android iteration will be moving away from XUL implementation in favor of a native Android UI. Nightingale, seeking to reassure users who may be wary of change, stated "Firefox on Android is a critical part of supporting the open web, and this decision puts us in a position to build the best Firefox possible."
For those not in the know, XUL stands for "XML User Interface Language," and is essentially a language that controls Firefox's front end architecture, creating various UI elements and instances.
If there is one thing that I'm always interested it, it's new browsers for my tablet. I can honestly say that I've used nearly every available browser in the Market - both optimized for Honeycomb and not. While I currently switch between Dolphin for Pad and the stock browser, I've been longing for a Honeycomb optimized version of Firefox for some time. It looks the Mozilla Mobile team heard my quiet cries, as they showed off some of the features of the upcoming browser in an official blog post earlier today.