Update (150922): less than 24 hours after publishing this post was published confirming that the very next release of Firefox (version 41) will have the key missing ingredient of instant messanging (IM) or text chat built into the Firefox Hello! part of the browser. This is huge news and great news. Read on!
Skype Down. Good. ‘Bout time a Fire is Lit Under Our Butts
With Skype being down again and having foolishly made the mistake of relying on a product owned by Microsoft [palm smashes forehead] I decided to get busy and find a good solution to share with the world that is really an awesome alternative.
Firefox Hello! by the makers of the world famous Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client.
Download it Without Google Play
First of all, I had no idea that Hello! worked on an android device. It does. However, I’m not connected to anything Google (ie. Google play) so I needed to be able to download it on my isolated mobile. Good news. It worked although for some reason Firefox made it hard to find the link to do so (likely because they don’t want people having to manually update their browser on their phone). Anyway, point here is that if you are wise you should download and install your apps away from google to protect your information and private life. Here is the alternative .apk download link for the most recent Firefox browser for Android. Otherwise, you can easily and foolishly go and connect to google and get it through ‘play’ while they play with your privacy parts.
Once Firefox browser is installed on your mobile device (or on any device you plan to use) the process is easy. Just click the link that was sent to you (from a laptop/desktop for now) and make sure you open the link with Firefox (if you have another browser installed). It works. And it works pretty dang awesome, too!
How to start a conversation from Firefox Android
Honestly, I don’t know how to do this. There is probably a way but I can’t find anything built into the browser that makes this possible, or easy. So, for now, start the conversation on a regular desktop/laptop browser and send it to the mobile device.
There you go. You are now having a high quality video and audio chat with anyone on any kind of computer and you are doing so *much* more privately than via Skype.
Some challenges to be overcome
- there is currently no text chat feature (believe it or not) or file sharing, but I have seen online that it’s nearly ready. Hang in there. It’s worth the wait.
- It seems Firefox browser is not working on the ubuntu phone. Wait… maybe it is now (I’m out of the loop). Someone try this bad boy out and let me know if a video/audio Firefox Hello! chat works, please. I was guessing this didn’t develop as fast because Mozilla was trying to make their own mobile OS….