This browser is no longer supported.
Please use the Google Play Store app to access Google Play.
And I'm sad seeing many of the arguments here - a wild guess is that they've been made by people who weren't here (or have forgotten) the Microsoft/IE story.
Soon it will become: "Why would they invest resources? Firefox is a niche browser, the return on investment is not justified". After all, Firefox's market share is dwindling.
I really hope we're not slowly being boiled like the proverbial frog, by Google.
There's been this largely ridiculous "revenge of the geeks" after the IE6 days. Now we've fed so much fuel into that fire, that casually telling people to use different browsers is the norm. I'm not saying I told you so, but.. I told you so.
Instead of focusing on your customers' needs, we just ran with what's popular. That's always going to be a losing strategy.
You're not really giving the whole story here.
A lot of people slapped a 'Don't use IE, it's old and broken message" on their sites because it was old and broken. Generally this didn't show for newer versions – though you're right in that a minor number of 'douch-baggy' sites did.
It was a significant and in some cases crippling workload to support end-of-life browsers that were lacking features such as e.g. transparent image support. Telling users to upgrade was a perfectly sensible thing to do in these cases – if it was suitable message for your customer base.
These days the situation is very different. There's almost definitely no way that the Play store doesn't work on Firefox. It's almost certainly being deliberately excluded from accessing the Play store for what can only be described as malicious reasons.
UPDATE: Update 9:05 a.m. PT: Google has informed VentureBeat that the issue experienced by Firefox users on Android is a bug, and a fix will be issued “very soon.”
The aftermath of all of this falls on the developer's shoulders, which is why so many hours are poured into getting a modern webapp to work across all browsers. Resources are limited, and at some point, developers have to throw their hands up and resign from having support across all browsers.
When you start using a seemingly mature HTML5 api, and find that it doesn't work as expected in all browsers, what recourse does one have? Should we continue to stifle innovation while we wait for the browser vendor to reach compliance? History shows you're going to be waiting for a while, or for ever.
File bugs. Chromium and Firefox are not black boxes.
A few examples that come to mind:
The problem is we let web culture degenerate into a "my browser or the highway" attitude thanks to the fuel uber-geeks poured on the IE6 fire. Now we're constantly reaping this negativity. I won't even go into the issues I've had with Opera, AOSP browser, dolphin, midori, and others. This "my browser or the highway" attitude is still very strong and we need to stop pretending its a legitimate way to manage the web. No wonder people are clamoring for walled-garden app stores and dumbed down apps. Maybe they're sick of the geek-led browser wars that flare up every so often. Google knows this and is using this to its advantage with its long-range plan to lock people onto its proprietary Android-based services. Now here's another reason to not use Firefox and to stick with Chrome.
Based on your argument, I think it's time for the opposite.. stick with Firefox
Take your points, but in fact, Microsoft didn't refuse to support web standards.
IE6 was more standards-compliant than Netscape when it came out. The main problem was that Microsoft stopped developing browsers (for complicated reasons that must include the US anti-trust suits). That put it years behind in standards support.
Then when it started to catch up (with new browsers in Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8), it couldn't move users on to later more standards-compliant browsers, even though it tried.
The main reason for not supporting IE was its anti-standards stance, not its market share. I think that's a perfectly valid reason, just like saying "I don't want to support Chrome because of its promotion of DRM in browsers".
It's simply not true that IE wasn't adhering to standards, or had an "anti-standards stance". It is true that IE6 didn't support standards that were developed after it was released, but that's also true of every program released (until it's updated).
Not saying Microsoft didn't make mistakes, but that wasn't one of them ;-)
"don't use Google play store, it's like ie6. use fdroid and be happy". and then we all drop support to it, just like we dropped support to ie6 and it's bullying tactics, even though we own ajax to it, there's so much abuse one can take.
do your part for free software. but yeah, i know that building your startup on top of a free software stack means nothing when you can give in to a walked garden and sell your closed source app for 99c
Remember those non-evil days where you said you cared about web-standards and actually acted according to those claims?
Those days were great. Feel free to get back to those.
† slowly becoming too much ChromeOS-and-why-not-a-browser (including terrible memory use) extending its tentacles in ugly ways into my desktop of choice.
Now when I close chrome it wants to stay open like an over eager registry cleaner that hopes to hide behind the always on functionality and thus obscure that fact that it's done nothing, only Chrome's reason is the slightly more nefarious "we'll keep you informed while tracking all your desktop mouse movement" it also has the unintended consequence of making it difficult to restart the browser in cases of memory leaks.
Though I do use uBlock over the other two main adblockers.
They are using new technology that's currently only available in Chrome but available to other browsers to implement and therefore they are pushing the web forward.
I'm not sure if that applies to this specific case but that's usually the excuse.
If the features they want to use are not available in standards-compliant web-browsers they should not be released on a public facing production website.
I thought that was blindingly obvious, but the Chrome-effect is evidently taking quite a hold.
BTW, for those playing at home, the Play Store website loads just fine if you claim to be running Firefox OS instead. If there actually are features the Play Store site uses that work in Firefox OS and not in Firefox for Android, I'm sure Mozilla would like to hear about them (probably via Bugzilla).
Perhaps they should inform the user that they've designed the site for a particular browser in such a case, though. A little animated GIF that says "This page works best in Google Chrome" would do the trick.
Publishing working code (even as Open Source) and possibly a white paper does not make something a 'standard.' It may be 'open' but not a 'standard.'
The idea that nobody can do anything cool on the web unless all browsers support it seems like a great way to encourage stagnation.
But that's the entire point of open web standards. If you don't like using a runtime that is the lowest common denominator across all platforms then why are you using the web in the first place?
I really don't understand people who claim to support the web and web standards but then moan about vendor X or Y not implementing this or that. That's the single biggest defining feature of open web standards; things don't happen unless everybody agrees. If you don't like it that individual vendors have veto power over things then you don't like open web standards. If you don't like technology that moves slowly and by consensus then you don't like open web standards. These are the costs of creating a platform that is defined by open standards.
This is the model that works, and google is trying to continue it. Best of luck to them.
That is how the standards process generally works these days.
That was a long time ago, when there were few browsers and the Web was much smaller. Nowadays, whenever a browser ships anything, content immediately starts relying on it, and it becomes frozen for all time. None of your other examples have billions of pieces of content; the probability that some content starts relying on the random corner cases of whatever you ship is almost certain. That is one of the most important reasons the standards process exists: to allow multiple vendors a seat at the table in order to create something that makes sense, as opposed to sitting down, writing a pile of code, having content depend on the random bugs and corner cases in your implementation, and forcing all other vendors to reverse engineer your code. (Being open source does not make reverse engineering free, and doesn't even make it that much easier: the HTML5 parsing algorithm was reverse engineered from IE6 without looking at the source code.)
> This is the model that works, and google is trying to continue it. Best of luck to them.
It's also what got us quirks mode, the content sniffing algorithm, the gratuitous complexity of HTML5 parsing, marquee, blink, and the incredibly underdocumented and hideously complex tables specification. I could go on.
You're portraying CSS2 as a failure, but CSS2 is actually a great example of something that is implementable by virtue of being standardized. CSS2 only looks bad because you can go to the standard and look at the complexity, but automatic table layout (what we had before) is much worse, being defined by a pile of C++ code that few people in the world know, with corner cases and weirdnesses a mile long. To this day, table layout is essentially implemented by reverse engineering Gecko. As someone who has implemented both features, I much prefer the former.
You want to add new functionality to the web? Great, implement it, make some demos, show us why it's awesome and something we should all implement too. Advocate and demonstrate all you want. But don't make your applications break for anyone that doesn't support your new fanciness.
Came along and made the point I was making....
2. Note that immediately before your quote, he made the same point I made: “Microsoft intentionally let IE6 development come to a halt because it was no longer strategically beneficial to them”.
3. In addition to reversing your earlier position on the first point, you never stated anything like his second point – just a tangent from the topic in question. You could have fleshed it out into something similar but never did.
4. There's potentially an interesting discussion about the benefits of API stability but that's not conclusively proven – there are many confounds – and there's a separate question of actually specifying behaviours and fixing bugs in the various in-the-wild-versions. As anyone who was working on the web in that era remembers even IE6 wasn't reliably a single target since key features depended on the combination of Windows patches installed on the client. There would have been zero downside had Microsoft more aggressively promoted updates so IE would consistently support HTTP compression, SSL, caching, etc. rather than marking them as minor updates.
The whole point of web standards is to create a - you know - "standard" basis everybody can build upon. If your webapp doesn't work on a given recent browser (firefox latest is both recent and decent), you're doing it wrong.
And Google has been doing it wrong for years (since 2011 for Gmail). Not only is it wrong in the sense that it's poorly developed, but it's also wrong in any other sense of the word (evil, bad,...).
We're talking about a company that develops a web browser and that, in 2015, serves barely usable version of their services when the UA doesn't match its own.
Edit (for the sake of completeness): if you don't spoof the UA of firefox mobile, you can't use gmail except for painfully reading e-mails.
I don't see any benefit to this. It's just stupid.
Firefox doesn't support that, and would instead take you to the play website, that really doesn't perform well on a lot of mobile devices. I'm guessing this factored into their decision to discourage its use.
I don't necessarily agree with this decision, but I think it is an exaggeration to imply that there is some evil intent here. It's not keeping you from doing anything that you could do before, and if you are really eager to get to the site just tap "Request Desktop Site" and it will still load.
1. The droid in the URL bar once the page has loaded.
2. The "Open in an app" alternative in a link's long-press menu, which often tells you which app when the destination is clear.
Sure Google solution is crap, right now following a link to a Play Store app generates this , you really need to be a Firefox Power User in order to tap the droid in the URL bar (on this point Firefox should prompt a tip, at least the first time).
Honestly, the intent system really sucks for the use case that you mostly want to set a default app but occasionally want to do something different. Basically your choice is "be annoyed all the time" or "never have an option again until you install a new app or go in and delete all the default app's intent preferences".
Long-press/right-click for rarely used obscure options is pretty standard.
I definitely would not hold up Google's intent design UI in Android as some sort UI panacea.
Yeah, I completely agree with this. Both Google and the hardware vendors have tried many different ways to both select and change the default. They are all terrible, just in different ways.
I had a Samsung phone (T-989) that would open a popup after you selected a default app informing you of how to change the default later. It would do this every single time, so picking a default always took at least three taps. It was by far the worst implementation that I have seen.
The AOSP behavior in Kit Kat is still the best so far, IMO, but it still isn't friendly at all to non-technical users.
It's a hard problem. If it wasn't someone would have solved it already.
Maybe not on their default browsers, but you're trying to show the site in Firefox, which worked fine, until they intentionally blocked it. In fact, that's one excellent reason to use Firefox for Android in the first place.
I don't think this is some malicious betrayal of trust, even if its a stupid thing to do.
It's annoying if in fact it's very specifically Firefox Mobile and nothing else, but I agree, if the app has the better experience, they likely want to funnel everyone that way.
Edit: aaaand down-voted. What is the actual problem here?
If they want it to be accessed only from the Android app, fine, but then don't make it available to the Chrome browser either. That kind of "only-works-with-products-from-the-same-vendor" bundling is what got Microsoft convicted for monopolistic practices back in the day.
I was sure (until I read the explanation) that qntmfred was telling zanny that it was a malicious betrayal of trust and LiroXIV was enigmatically defending google's choice, but then you guys are saying that actually the two of them (and all children) were agreeing without realizing it.
This isn't 4chan please take more than 2 seconds to compose your comment.
I would've thought lots of people would be willing to pay the price of a coffee for a well built open source app, without the hassle of building it from source or downloading APKs from dubious sources, then having to manually update them.
And many average consumers would be willing to sign up to a user-friendly marketplace, with reviews and a polished UI, which promised much more curation than Google Play.
Bad Experience is an understatement. The app stores were not designed with easy and fast switching, so being shunted to them from your browser is a usability nightmare.
I can't count the number of times I'm annoyed when I click on a link to a website - say, clicking a link on news.google.com or a link here - get moved to that website and BAM there is a "you want to use our app. Click here to download it."
No. I don't want your F(!&^NG app. I want your website. Don't show me that.
The next time I go to the same website? BAM! Go To Our App page again!
A news page, blog or a forum doesn't need an app. I don't need to be constantly badgered to use said sh&%^y app.
Just my 2c rant.
This is the grandparents quote to the person I replied to. Looking over the quote, I think there's some ambiguity.
One one hand....
there is clicking a link in say Messenger that someone texts you... and "Which app do you want to use? Firefox, Chrome, Youtube, ...". That, I think, its a necessary "evil" and not inherently bad. If you have 5 browsers and youtube, where do you want that link to go? "Use this app every time with this kind of link... or just this time?" is a minor annoyance but expected.
This is to be expected in an environment where you have options. It would be jarring, in say iOS, because they don't give you options. Links open in Safari. Videos open in iVideo (or whatever it's called).
In Android, you have apps installed that make you have to choose - and generally you only have to choose when you say "This time only" or after you install something new.
On the other hand...
How I read it initially: there is clicking a web link, having it open in the browser and having a "You should really install our app. No really." box pop up every time. Not a redirect to an app, but a web page that points you to super-awesome-zomg-your-so-stupid-for-not-using-it app.
It's bad user experience, in my not so humble experience, to constantly be badgered to install apps - whether it's Youtube, LinkedIn (one of the worst offenders, again IMNSHO) or on a link leaving Google.
Edit: well I don't really know if the comment came from a Google dev, I guessed so because it looked very authoritative.
Unfortunately, I find that most of the apps aren't very good at all (and in no way is it a replacement for Google Play) but it's something interesting to keep an eye on.
If more online properties go this way, we effectively give Google the exclusive ability to develop and drive the Web platform at a fundamental level. For instance, Servo, an experimental, highly-parallel rendering engine written in Rust, won't be able to improve the efficiency or security of the Web as a whole if it's not allowed access to the Web in the first place.
Also, Google search omits many filters and feature options in Firefox and again, it seems intentional since Safari on iOS offers the same UX as Android Chrome.
Without evidence its not really worthwhile to sling mud like that. Chances are they implemented some feature in the Play store that FF mobile doesn't support. When a FF mobile user goes to the site and its broken who would they blame most likely? Google? or Firefox? Experience tells me they'd blame Google.
Stop using Hanlons razor as lead in to why someone isn't malicious when you aren't in a position to know one way or the other!
edit: I would appreciate a response along with the downvote.
Also, lot's of people are lamenting the seeming betrayal of "don't be evil" but I think it really hasn't been about that for a while. Google has bigger ambitions to change the world now as their investment in driverless cars, medical devices, VR, etc. has shown. Those ideas require large capital investment and anything they can do to generate more revenue to fund those truly game-changing ideas are probably seen as fair (regardless of whether they adhere to an open internet/standards based approach). One day, we'll all see that the "ends justify the means" or so we hope.
Do we really need user agent? What are good reasons we should keep on using them? I could find none...
Relevant items on HN: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=youtube%20windows%20phone&sort...
you can have extensions to begin with. from ad blockers to stylish, which let people with poor vision actually use the browser.
also it allows you to disable all sort of asinine tracking that is forced in chrome.
expect Google to play a Microsoft on Mozilla harder and harder now.
It's awful, but it seems like the direction things are going.
Seriously, the last 5 years have undone much of the "web standards web" that took a decade to accomplish. If you use Google services, you're going to suffer if you don't use Chrome. Thinking about it, maybe it's only Google that has "regressed" because IE and MS have been getting better at it.
A team that forces you to compromise your anonymity in order to write a positive app review has no qualms about forcing you to use a different browser. That team must be filled with former MS employees.
Nah, just people. People are the same everywhere.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Upton_Sinclair
What about asm.js and the likes
I am guessing they are trying to have singleton system around their app market but this is not how it is supposed to be done.
They can give users a unique email address with play store domain and ask them to sign in if they want to give a different user experience to Google users. And you need to have installed Google OS or Chrome in order to get that email address.
With this way, Google is no different than the 90s enterprise companies whose sites were only supporting IE in order to function.
This is not the first time Google is doing this, and I am guessing this will not be the last one either. Since they got Eric Schmidt on board, they are focusing more on revenue than being the Internet hero. I can not really blame them though..
> This is not the first time Google is doing this
Really, this should be no surprise precisely because it's far from the first time; numerous Google properties use UA-sniffing (many in combination with whitelists, which is nothing but badness for the open web, where any standards compliant browser should be fine!). An increasing number are supporting Chrome only at initial launch, which really is sad.
The fact that Opera, who nowadays build on top of the Chromium Content API, have a comment in browser.js after dodging the UA-sniffing saying the following says a lot:
> Google, please make sure your obfuscator does not change class names, so our patch continues working (or stop browser-sniffing as we both use and contribute to Blink!) - love, Opera.
i.e. "whoops, we got caught"
This can't be intentional, can it?
Edit: there really isn't a downside for Google. If no-one complains, then they get a clean shot at locking out a competitor. If they people complain loudly enough, they can just revert the change and pretend like it was a mistake. Within a week the whole episode will be forgotten and they can just cook up another scheme.
And let this be said people, this isn't something new. Not even from Google. Inbox doesn't work on non-chrome browsers.
Even apple restricts using iCloud anything other than Safari. So, why the commotion?
Are you sure? I can login to iCloud just fine on Firefox (35.0.1) and Canary.
The whole point of the web is to be a common runtime. You can use it from any browser and any device. You avoid the situation where you prefer browser X because it has some feature that is critical to you, but you have to use browser Y for some web sites. (So in the end, you'll use browser Y for all sites so that your user agent can actually be your agent by eg remembering your history/passwords. Or worse, you will be forced to use multiple browsers due to multiple incompatible websites.) You also avoid the situation where a new hardware platform or browser engine can never be released because there's no way to make it compatible with the current web.
In short, if a "web site" does not work in a strictly standards-compliant browser, then it's not part of the Web. It may be linked to from the web, and it may almost be part of the web, but it's really something else hanging off of it.
There are many such things. Flash apps are a common type. Heck, PDFs are too and until recently all videos were. There's nothing inherently wrong with them existing, as long as they aren't claiming to be part of the Web.
In this case, it may only be a QA shortcoming with respect to a 0.7% market share device. Inbox is not so benign, since the compatibility delay is a pretty strong indicator of corporate priority and policy.
And that's the danger, and the probable reason for the downvote. If you accept non-web things on the web, only thinking of the convenience and added functionality you gain (because your particular user agent is fine with it and makes it appear to be part of the web), then lockin will gradually set in, standards will lose their meaning, browser makers will start having to implement each other's half-baked experimental features that don't interoperate with everything else, cats and dogs will start living together, and there will be no reason not to gain the extra 10% in performance and functionality you get from a native app because your web sites don't run universally anymore anyway. So developers get to start maintaining half a dozen separate code bases because we've pissed away our opportunity to make a single codebase work everywhere. The blasé acceptance of that possibility is what earns downvotes.
The movement in this direction is already well under way on the mobile web, so I'm not just dreaming up imaginary hypothetical scaremongering.
(disclaimer: I am a Firefox platform developer)
Personally not against it, I see Chrome as a better product.
Every platform and browser requires support and attention, and in this case they chose not to support an edge case that really makes no sense, and simply causes usability issues (so how do you install an app from the Play Store in Firefox?). But cue the typical "don't be evil" sorts of comments.
EDIT: Wow, five downvotes within 2 minutes. The Google hate is strong in this case (and is probably a coordinated effort), where an app ignoring Android URL intents is used in a comically irrelevant fashion....don't be evil, hurr durr.
And the decline of HN continues.
Because you're browsing the web in your web browser (that's what I do with mine, anyway), you end up on a webpage with an app review, so you click the link to check out of the official screenshots and reviews, and all of a sudden you're browsing the Play Store in your browser! What a crazy random happenstance!
It's almost like that's how webpages work or something.
Not sure I understand the connection here though, could you explain? What intent is Firefox breaking, and why is it OK that Chrome can go to play.google.com (in the browser, it doesn't bounce me to the Play Store app) while Firefox is blocked?
There's a difference between "not supporting" (e.g. not caring that an icon is positioned wrong) and "completely turning it off". All those sites that used to catch hell for switching on user agent string and telling us to "please install IE in order to use this site", justifiably caught that hell. I'm normally as big a G fanboy as anyone, but how is this different?
And for all of the nonsense through this thread (again, this seems coordinated), Chrome on Android simply punts you to the Play Store app (despite people manufacturing a fiction to pitch their outrage). And, if you really care, you can set Firefox to desktop mode and happily browse it, even though it makes zero sense to do that.
Talk about much ado about absolutely nothing.
It can also happen, that you are on device that lacks com.android.vending. With browser, you can at least have a look, what's there.
This isn't true at all.
Edit: It's interesting that you shout about coordinated anti-Google sentiment, then put forth obvious falsehoods in your posts.
Firefox, OTOH, lets you reliably browse the website and easily switch to the app (via the Android in the URL or via the Open in an app option in a link's long-press menu) whenever you want. This is much cleaner, but...
At least we have Phony.
If this were an isolated incident, I could see your point. But Google has been steadily closing off services and putting up walls over the past couple of years. It's becoming a trend, and not a good one. In a time when even Microsoft is accepting and supporting open source, Google is increasingly looking like the bad guy with every move like this.
It's possible there'll be something else "more open than Android/Chrome" in ~5 years, and then ~5 years after that it will be getting locked down in the same way that Chrome & Android are now.
It might be a cyclic phenomena in the tech industry. Potentially startups can even exploit it by looking at what is in the process of being locked down and producing a more open competitor to it.
It works in Chrome browser on Android. Works in Chrome and Firefox on a desktop. It even works from Firefox on Android when requesting the desktop site. So why block just the mobile firefox user-agent? I think it's a perfectly reasonable way to install. If it's not, Google should block all browsers, not just mobile firefox.
Some of those sold in Russia.
Android is a good os, with many existing apps and libraries... why redo everything? Just cut the bad bits.
- Chrome Remote Desktop
- Chrome Spelling API
- Chrome Suggest API
- Chrome Sync API
- Chrome Translate Element
- Google Maps Geolocation API
- Safe Browsing API
- Speech API
- Time Zone API
- Google Cloud Messaging for Chrome
- Drive API (Optional, enable this for Files.app on Chrome OS and SyncFileSystem API)
- Google Now For Chrome API (Optional, enabled to show Google Now cards)
- Google+ API
Google has a nice source of behavior data there. They also went out of way with annoying the user, if his build does not use the Google APIs (a notification, that cannot be permanently dismissed).
Why do you refuse an argument just because it was used in another occasion? That appears to me to be a logical fallacy. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
The heart of the argument - that is the demand not to be spied upon - seems to be to be perfectly reasonable and justified due to economic and security aspects. Care to weigh in?
1) Observing a target with hostile intents.
2) Acquiring and tracking information.
Google has never been hostile towards me. I've never lost money because of Google, or had health damage, or had naked pictures of me released to the web, etc. No "harm" done to me by Google, either literal harm or figurative harm.
So, number 2. If people are complaining of Google tracking information, 99% of things in your computer track your information. Even a simple 'sudo ls' in linux is tracking SOME information to allow you to run other sudo commands without inputting your password again for a while. A computer software that does not store information is usually quite limited.
What harm (and I accept a loose definition of harm here) comes from Google remembering what search you did yesterday or when was the last time you logged on to gmail?
Edit: realizing this was a very short out of context comment. I use Firefox exclusively on Desktop and >50% on Mobile. Seeing the browser market start to fragment again is quite concerning.
If faced with a choice between giving up a browser or giving mathematics, I'll choose the browser every time! :)