Home Mozilla Brings WebSockets API to Firefox for Android

Mozilla Brings WebSockets API to Firefox for Android

Mozilla is again releasing a new version of Firefox for Android as the company’s mobile development cycle is starting to look a lot like that of its desktop browser. The new Firefox for Android brings developers more tools to integrate Web experiences through the browser with a select group of APIs and standards that should align well with the trends of HTML5 and mobile development.

Firefox for Android uses Gecko version 6 for rendering and has instituted several new HTML5 standards, such as offline storage and native JSON. Most importantly though it that Mozilla has instituted the WebSockets API for Firefox for Android, which should make solving communication issues and event handling for developers much easier.

Firefox for Android uses Mozilla’s JagerMonkey JIT (just-in-time) compiler as it Javascript engine, which greatly speeds up the mobile browser. That will help developers create more dynamic mobile games for the mobile browser. It can also handle online/offline events and offline storage, both of which came out in the last version of Firefox for Android. In addition, the browser now supports the following HTML tags: < canvas >, < svg >, < audio > and < video >.

It will be curious to see how Mozilla handles audio in HTML5, which is a big problem for developer currently. Right now it is difficult to stitch together separate bits of audio data into one semantic timeline, which makes creating apps for things like language learning difficult.

WebSockets API Packs A Punch

According to Mozilla, Websockets, “is a technology that makes it possible to open an interactive communication session between the user’s browser and a server. With this API, you can send messages to a server and receive event-driven responses without having to poll the server for a reply.”

WebSockets for Firefox for Android will be a boon to developers working to create dynamic games that require a lot of back and forth from the client and the server. The examples that Mozilla gives are Angry Birds and Runfield, a game reminiscent of Monster Dash for the iPad. WebSockets will also allow Mozilla to bridge the Web experiences across devices and allow for multi-player Web games to be accessed anywhere by anyone.

Mozilla has also now supports the W3C navigation timing spec API across desktop and mobile platforms. This API should help developers test their games on different devices and networks.

Check out Mozilla’s FAQ here for more detailed answers to what the company is building for into Firefox and how Web applications can be integrated into the mobile browsing experience. Let us know in the comments what you think of Mozilla’s newest (and quickest) iteration.

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