Mobile Web Compatibility Aug. 24, 2012 – H.264, site fixes, Spade

Due to various reasons (vacation, infant needing a visit to the hospital), I skipped posting last week’s mobile Web compatibility summary. Here, then, is what’s new in mobile Web compatibility the past two weeks.

H.264/AAC/MP3 decoding support

H.264/AAC/MP3 audio and video decoding support for Firefox for Android landed on the Nightly channel this week. This decoding support covers all phones on Android ICS and Jelly Bean (with work in progress on Gingerbread). This result of this change is that a number of sites that depend on this type of content are improved, such as Soundcloud,, RTL, and There are still a number of outstanding performance issues. Please file bugs for any performance or hardware specific issues that you encounter.

Site testing and outreach

Aaron Train reviewed all of the open mobile evangelism issues this week and identified a number of sites that have recently been fixed or partially fixed. While we know that some of these sites were fixed by changes to Gecko and some by targeted outreach, there are also sites in this list that appear to have put fixes into place on their own. If you did report issues to any of the following sites please do get in touch with me as I am very interested to hear about your interaction.

Sites that are now functional include:

  • Abril
  • IMDB
  • Quora
  • Yelp
  • Lord of Ultima
  • Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances (fixed on Beta)
  • Urban Dictionary
  • Trip Advisor

Sites that are partially fixed include:

  • CNet, which is now functional but serving a simplified mobile site
  • Bank of America, which serves a mobile site when connecting but redirects sign-ins to a desktop sites and has some layout issues.
  •, like CNet, functional but serving a simplified mobile site

Aaron also ran a screenshot analysis of the Mozilla Marketplace apps with the Firefox for Android, Firefox OS and Chrome user agents.

A layout issue on the UK lottery site was reported on Google Play. Thanks to JP Rosevear for flagging this one and filing bug 785374.


Last month I wrote about the A-Team proposal for a UA sniffing and CSS property usage tool. This tool is now known as Spade. To wrap up his internship with Mozilla, Sam Liu gave a presentation about Spade and a summary of the tool’s current status. Sam, thanks for all of the effort that you put into Spade and have a great time back at school!

The report was using Alexa top site data from back in May. However, the Web is not static but rather undergoing constant change.I updated the report with data from Aug. 20, 2012. I added the top 50 lists for Canada and China and the Alexa top 1000 sites list. The report now also differentiates between sites that are functional and sites that do not serve mobile specific content (shown in grey).

Other news

Opera announced that CSS animations, transforms, transitions, and gradients have been unprefixed in the latest Opera 12.5 snapshot.


About Lawrence Mandel

Firefox program manager
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