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Firefox Friday Five: Firefox Home for iPhone available, 'it's like you're really there' with (earth)QuakeyFox, India's first Web browser, the Mozilla app store... and more!

Good afternoon! I have good news and bad news. This will be my last Firefox Friday for July, because I'm going on holiday. Lee and Matthew will pick up the slack while I'm gone. A different point of view is always interesting and I thoroughly look forward to reading the column while on vacation, sprawled across a babe-blanketed balmy beach somewhere in Eastern Europe...

Anyway, there's a lot of stuff to cover this week, so let's dive right in with the most pertinent morsel!

1. Firefox Home now available for your iPhone and iPod Touch (and iPad, I think)

Get it while it's hot! It's free (obviously), and promises to revolutionize your mobile Web experience. Here's a direct iTunes link if you want to dive right in.

We've already covered Firefox Home a bunch of times, so I'll spare you the details and jump right into the next juicy bit of Firefox news.

2. Mozilla App Store will offer a middle-ground between Android's openness and Apple's walled playground for Web apps

It's still in a very early stage of development -- heck, it might still just be ideas on a whiteboard -- but with Google obviously working hard on a Chrome Web Store, I think Mozilla will soon start showing off early prototypes of its "open" Web app store.

Web apps-in-a-tab are the next stage in the 'platformication' of browsers, and thanks to Apple's proven app store model you can be certain that a huge ecosystem will sprout up around commercial (and free) in-the-browser applications. Don't worry about weird, draconian moderation either: Mozilla has already stipulated than such a store would only host applications based on open standards like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What remains to be seen is whether people will pay for such apps. The Technology Review story points out that Salesforce has had success in selling business-oriented Web apps, so there is a market out there. What I want to know is whether Web apps written in HTML and JavaScript can be protected by DRM...

Don't forget, Firefox 4 now has App Tabs, too!

3. Mozilla Summit yields a bunch of fun and useful Jetpack add-ons (including one that shakes your browser during earthquakes...)

It seems news of the Mozilla app store wasn't the only cool thing to come out of the Mozilla Summit last week in Canada! During the event, attendees were cajoled into developing add-ons using Jetpack and the new Web-based Add-ons Builder (which is very cool, if you haven't seen it yet!).

The results were, unsurprisingly, pretty damn cool! The Most Useful award went to Copy ShortURL, but Most Creative went to the excellently-named QuakeyFox. All it does is scan the USGS earthquake RSS feed -- and if there's an earthquake anywhere in the world, your browser window shakes! (How damn cool is it that there's an earthquake RSS feed? Who needs Twitter?!)

Most Fun -- and really, this one's genius -- was awarded to Too Old For Facebook. Install or 'Test' it, and then visit Facebook. It made my brain hurt.

4. Regain the ability to watch full-screen videos on Facebook!

If, like me, you use Facebook as your primary source of abominable animal videos, you may have noticed that the 'fullscreen' button recently disappeared from videos imported from external sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Firefox Facts speculates that Facebook doesn't want us to leave the Facebook environment, even if it's only to watch a full-screen video -- but who cares? The point is: the full-screen button's gone and you want it back!

All you need is Greasemonkey and a tiny Userscript -- and voila! Full-screen video in Facebook. (Click the image to watch a truly awesome video, incidentally.)

5. India gets its very own Web browser based on Firefox, also first browser to feature built-in anti-virus protection

Other than its rather unfortunate name -- Epic Browser (really!) -- this is probably the coolest Firefox-derivative I've ever seen. It's basically Firefox -- all the menus and options are the same -- but with the entire browser chrome reworked to make it both user- and Indian-friendly.

Epic Browser's main feature is the massive sidebar chock full of handy add-ons and widgets. You have one-click access to Facebook, Orkut, email, videos -- and, most importantly, built-in Indic language transliteration (powered by Google!) If you read the FAQ you can get a fairly good idea of what Epic Browser does and what modifications they've made.

The Epic site claims there are thousands of sidebar widgets and themes -- but considering the, er, confident hyperbole -- faster! instantly! one-click! maximum!! -- used throughout, I wouldn't be surprised if that's a slight exaggeration. Still, Epic Browser is free, and built on Firefox 3.6.6, so it's pretty darn fast. Its developers seemingly haven't made their changes open source though... for shame!
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Tags: add-on, app, app store, AppStore, earthquake, epic browser, EpicBrowser, extension, facebook, features, fierfox home, FierfoxHome, firefox, firefox friday five, FirefoxFridayFive, iphone, jetpack, mozilla, mozilla app store, mozilla summit, MozillaAppStore, MozillaSummit, video

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