November 30, 2012

Firefox for Android Supports HTML5 H.264 Video Playback

IT technology news site eWeek reported that open-source software group Mozilla (NewsAlert) has expanded support for Web browser Firefox for Android operating system (OS). As a result, Firefox for Android now supports HTML5 H.264 video playback. 

According to eWeek, Chris Peterson, developer on Mozilla’s Firefox for Android (NewsAlert) team, said, “Web developers have been using Adobe Flash to play H.264 video on Firefox for Android, but Adobe no longer supports Flash for Android.” Thus, added Peterson, “Mozilla needed a new solution, so Firefox now uses Android’s Stagefright library to access hardware video decoders.”

As per the report, Firefox currently supports H.264 playback on any device running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and any Samsung (NewsAlert) device running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Peterson’s blog indicates that Mozilla has temporarily blocked non-Samsung devices running Ice Cream Sandwich until it can fix or workaround some bugs. Meanwhile, support for Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices is planned for a later release, Peterson wrote.

To test whether Firefox supports H.264 on your device, Mozilla is asking users to try playing “Big Buck Bunn.” For users whose devices are not yet supported, Peterson wrote,  

“If your device is not supported yet, you can manually enable H.264 for testing. Enter about:config in Firefox for Android’s address bar, then search for ‘stagefright.’ Toggle the ‘stagefright.force-enabled’ preference to true. H.264 should work on most Ice Cream Sandwich devices, but Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices will probably crash.”

Concurrently, reported eWeek, Mozilla also unwrapped a new beta of Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux. It was available for download and testing on Nov. 26. The update includes JavaScript improvements to make Web apps and games perform better, as well as support for World Wide Web Consortium (W3C (NewsAlert)) Touch Events, including MozTouch.

In addition, the beta also supports Retina Display for Mac users and IonMonkey, a new JavaScript just-in-time (JIT) compiler Firefox.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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