Firefox Reality, Mozilla’s VR web browser, has received its first major update since its launch in September. Firefox Reality 1.1 (available to download now for Oculus and Google Daydream) adds several new features to make browsing the web easier and more natural while wearing a headset.
Firefox Reality now supports 360-degree video from sources like YouTube, so you can leave the browser interface behind completely and become fully immersed in the action. There’s also a new Theater mode for regular videos, which dims everything except the playback window so you can focus more easily.
There’s improved localization, with support for seven additional languages, and the browser now offers improved voice search – an addition that makes using the web much easier than ‘typing’ using a controller and a virtual keyboard.
A different approach
Other new additions include improved interface performance (for tasks like resizing windows) and the ability to create bookmarks that are stored locally. These might seem unremarkable, but many of the tools and options we’ve come to expect in desktop and mobile web browsers require a different approach in VR. For example, resizing involves using a controller to change the size of the browser window, moving it up and down to make the window larger or smaller rather than dragging a corner as you would with a mouse.
Mozilla is currently working on adding multi-window support, tabs and content-syncing to Firefox Reality – all of which will also need a different approach to other versions of the browser. We’ll be interested to see how the developer adapts them for use without a keyboard, mouse or touchscreen.