Improvements coming to Firefox's real-time chat feature Hello
It is a real-time communication module that works right from within the browser without any other dependencies. This means no plugin or third-party software requirement that needs to be met.
Hello is an interesting piece of technology for a number of reasons including that it does not require user accounts to work and that it works across browsers. The only requirement for the latter is that the "other" browser supports WebRTC which most modern browsers do or get.
With Firefox 35 come a couple of changes to Hello that improve the usability of the feature especially for users who don't use accounts.
The current implementation works by clicking on the Hello icon in the toolbar or menu. This displays a unique url that you need to share with your contact.
Once you have shared the link you wait until the contact opens it in a compatible browser. The interface goes away the minute you click on another element in the browser.
In the new implementation, a window opens up that you can move around freely. It is independent and can be closed, maximized or minimized just like any other window of the browser.
You will be notified with an audio alert when the person you invited established a connection and the Hello icon itself turns blue as well as another indicator.
Probably the biggest change is the ability to create persistent chat urls. The new version of Hello ships with options to name conversations. Once you name it, its url becomes persistent so that you and the contact that you have invited can use it for as long as you like without having to share a new Hello url each time you want to communicate.
All unnamed conversations on the other hand change and use different unique urls just like before.
The new features that Mozilla is testing in Firefox 35 Beta currently improve Hello a lot. It makes it comfortable to use Hello without account as you can create persistent Hello urls now that you can use similar to how users with accounts can add persistent contacts to Hello to quickly call them. (via Mozilla and Caschy)
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