Mozilla removes Contacts from Firefox Hello, enables Tab Sharing on by default
Mozilla is becoming an unstoppable force, and its not all for the good.
The browser maker keeps changing too many features in Firefox too quickly, and this time the affected component, is the instant messaging/video calling feature, Firefox Hello.
Hello isn’t a bad feature by any means. It allows users to chat with each other, without even signing up for the service. All you need to do is send an invite to a conversation, and the recipient can accept and join in from any major browser which supports WebRTC. ( Read Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera)
However, despite being termed as an “anonymous” chat service, Firefox Hello, does have a contacts tab, to quickly access the people whom you chatted with. Well not for long, the browser doesn’t have this tab any more, beginning with Firefox 44. Mozilla has removed this feature without any announcement being made, leaving users perplexed. Ghacks suggests this may be due to the fact that the service doesn’t have many users, and we can’t help but nod our heads in agreement.
The second change is the more illogical one, and appears in the very next iteration of the browser. Firefox Hello also bosts a feature called Tab Sharing, which allows users to share the tabs and windows they have open, with the user they are chatting with. This may be useful in case of team work like projects, or maybe for educational or tech support purposes. Anyway, this option isn’t enabled by default in current versions of the browser.
But with Firefox 45, Tab Sharing is on by default. We aren’t sure why this featured should be enabled? It is not exactly privacy friendly, would you share some banking or secure websites tabs with your contact? However, it is indeed possible to stop or pause the option for Tab Sharing, but it is not clear if users will be able to disable it completely.
Regular readers of the blog, will be aware that we are big fans of Firefox. But Mozilla’s self-destructive path which cosnsits of enabling controversial (useless for most people) features, and disabling or removing useful ones (Heavyweight themes, Tab Panoramas), and its plans to bring in WebExtensions API, E2s Electrolysis technology (for distributing memory of each tab) which could end up killing some of the most popular add-ons out there, is something which really has us worried.
We do not want another Google Chrome, and nether does any Firefox user, so Mozilla, for your own sake, please listen to your users and keep Firefox clean.