Firefox/Account

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Note: THIS PAGE IS OBSOLETE - ALL CURRENT FIREFOX ACCOUNT STUFF LIVES HERE: Identity/Firefox-Accounts

Contents

What is Firefox Account?

Firefox Account is a new set of browser features that will allow you to quickly and easily access your full and personalized Firefox experience wherever you are, whether you're using your phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, gaming console, or television, whether you're sharing a device with your friends and neighbours, or whether you're using a public computer in a library or internet cafe.

How is this related to Next-gen Sync?

We've been talking about a set of features around this general idea for a long time, loosely referring to them collectively as "next-gen sync". While Firefox Sync is the technological infrastructure we're planning to use to support these features, that name does not encompass the full vision of what we have in mind. For this reason, we feel that "Firefox Account" is a more appropriate project name at this time.

Please note: "Firefox Account" is currently just a project name -- it could change at any time, and should not be considered a final shipping or brand name in any way.

Why do we want it?

The web has changed and the way people use the web has changed. In established markets, many people access the web from a variety of devices -- phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, game consoles, and televisions, among others. In emerging markets, millions of people are getting online for the first time and their first experience of the web is often through a shared mobile device or through a public computer in a library or cafe.

In all of these situations, we believe that users' lives on the web would be vastly improved if their Firefox experience were portable and ubiquitous, if they could have their data and passwords and history instantly accessible no matter where they are or how they're accessing the web.

This is what Firefox Account wants to make possible -- to give users safe, secure, and ubiqitous access to their full and personalized Firefox experience on any device, in any location.

Roadmap

Firefox Account v1

  • Release target: Firefox 21 [desktop & mobile] (tentative)
  • Product Requirements: Firefox Account v1: PRD
  • Version 1 will allow users to:
    • Quickly and easily create and sign in to a Firefox Account from any device.
    • Automatically sync their bookmarks, tabs, passwords and a portion of their history.
    • Automatically sync their Firefox Reading List and Reading List content.
    • Instantly send any tab (including its content) from any one of their devices to another.
    • Quickly and easily set up new devices with their full and personalized Firefox experience.
    • Safely and securely access their full and personalized Firefox experience from any shared or public computer or device.

Firefox Account v2

  • Release target: Firefox¬†??
  • Product Requirements: Firefox Account v2: PRD
  • Version 2 will allow users to:
    • Automatically and reliably back-up their Firefox data, including bookmarks, passwords, tabs and reading list, including snapshot-like backups similar to Windows System Restore or Mac Time Machine.
    • Safely and securely sign in to and view their Firefox Account from any browser (read-only mode when accessed through non-Firefox browsers).
    • ...more tbd...

Firefox Account v3

Firefox Account: Backlog & Ideas

Potential future Firefox Account feature ideas...

  • Wrapping Firefox Account data with an API and make that accessible to other apps, sites, and browsers.
  • Make the Firefox Account data blob extensible (perhaps obviously).
  • Sync about:home tabs & pins (how does that work with different form factors, etc?)
  • Search continuation (send tab?)
  • Task continuation (send tab?)
  • Workspace syncing (multi-tab, incl recent history etc)
  • Annotated/curated & shareable/publishable scrapbooks of web clippings, links, photos, videos, etc. (future future concept)
  • Collaborative & shareable/publishable scrapbooks. (future future concept)

Design Principles

Some basic principles to consider when designing an experience around multiple devices (pulled from http://www.slideshare.net/preciousforever/patterns-for-multiscreen-strategies)...

Coherence
Optimizing experiences for different device types, while still creating a sense of commonality and recognition across our products. The Australis project is an example of this.
Synchronization
Very simply, keeping all your content in sync. NextGen Sync is an example of this.
Screen Sharing
Using more than one screen to share a single experience. An example might be reading an article on your phone, and seeing photos from the same article show up on your TV while you're reading.
Device Shifting
Pushing an experience from one device to another. An example might be a couple sitting on a couch, and the husband "drags" an interesting link from his phone over to his wife's tablet screen to share it.
Complementary
When more than one screen can work together to make an experience better. An example might be using a phone as a device to type or do a search for a browser being displayed on a TV.
Simultineity
Supporting two separate experiences that happen at the same time. An example might be watching the presidential debates on your laptop, while tweeting about them on your phone.

References