Latest Firefox for Android update adds WebRTC, NFC tab sharing, and switches Google for Baidu

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 18 Sep 2013

Once upon a time, browsing the internet was a horrible experience. Believe it or not, the best browser out there was Internet Explorer. Then a Norwegian company came out with Opera, and Opera was great, but for the longest time it wasn’t free. Enter Mozilla and Firefox. Their new browser was so blindingly awesome that anyone with an ounce of common sense switched to it immediately.

It took a while for Mozilla to bring Firefox to mobile device, but they finally did it, and according to the Play Store, it’s been installed by at least 10 million people. Today it’s been updated to version 24, and with it comes three new features. One, there’s now WebRTC support. Chrome added WebRTC support last month, and it’s basically the ability to build a Skype-like service using nothing but web technology. Two, there’s NFC tab sharing. Looking at an interesting article you want to pass over to your friend sitting with you at the bar? Tap phones, done. And finally third, there’s a “Night Mode” that essentially takes whatever site you’re looking at, strips out the cruft, and inverts the colors so it’s white text on a black background.

Buried deep in the Firefox for Android version 24 release notes there’s one little snippet that most sites failed to acknowledge: “Baidu is now the default search engine for the Chinese locale.” Will this anger Google? Probably not, seeing as how Google doesn’t even work right over there.

And speaking about Google, let’s be honest for a second. Firefox has become the new Internet Explorer. It’s bloated, it’s slow, and it eats up a ton of RAM, which is why Google wrote Chrome.

Chrome (2013) is the new Firefox (2004). Sad, but true.