Emerging Technology

Firefox for Android adds NFC touch-to-share, Skype-style communication

Andrew Sadauskas /

Mozilla has announced it is adding touch-to-share for NFC-enabled devices and Skype-style WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) capabilities to the latest version of its Firefox web browser for Android.

The latest version of Firefox adds a ‘share’ option that allows users to transfer a currently open set of tabs or websites by touching together two NFC-enabled smartphones or tablets.

Aside from NFC sharing, the latest version also adds support for a set of HTML5 standards for communications known as WebRTC.

The WebRTC standards allow web apps to access a user’s webcam or microphone from their apps using just JavaScript, make audio or video calls from one browser to another, and transfer data peer-to-peer between browsers.

While the new features will be enabled by default, users will be prompted before sharing their camera or microphone with a web app.

“WebRTC has been available in Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux since June and today we add Android to our products that support WebRTC,” Mozilla says in a statement.

However, the company warns there are some known issues with the new features at this point, including audio sync issues, echo cancellation still needing improvement, intermittent video-capture crashes on some devices, and poor connectivity on low-end devices.

At this stage, it recommends using a headset to reduce the echo cancellation issues.

Mozilla has created a post on its web developers’ blog for users interested in taking advantage of the new features in their mobile web apps.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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