Firefox Extensions I Recommend on Pandora

wearemozilla

The latest Firefox release at the time of writing (24) being very decent, I think it’s time to come back to it and check the benefits of running Firefox on a machine like the Pandora. It’s still not the fastest browser (Qupzilla is) on the machine but you can do some cool stuff with it. Follow me.

First since you have a touch screen with the Pandora, you should be using it for browsing. Seriously, it is kind of comfortable to scroll down with a stylus rather than the d pad. In order to do this I recommend using Grab and Drag. This will enable touch-based scrolling just like when you grab a PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Excellent addition when using the stylus.

Next comes Speed Dial. It provides a “dial” function to launch the sites you visit the most as fast as possible. You can even use it with you fingers since it provides large icon-like areas n your screen. You can configure it any way you like and it’s very powerful to customize your Firefox browsing experience. Highly recommended. You’ll see all my favorite websites here in the following screenshot – full transparency with you guys.

speeddial

Download Statusbar is one of these little extensions that make your life a little better because they provide this additional little thing that prevents wasting your time. In this case you get a download bar at the bottom of your screen every time you download some file. Then a right click on it and you can directly move to the related folder without pain or suffering.

GreaseMonkey is a very useful engine which runs small scripts from userscripts.com, used to enhance the navigation or functionality of certain websites by executing additional javascript code in certain locations, like adding a download button on youtube pages, for example like below. Great stuff.

monkeyscript

For privacy I use Ghostery as well which blocks a number of known web trackers used by several companies to know what you are doing online. You can of course customize which trackers you want to block and which ones you would like to keep.

ghostery

Better privacy is a useful extensions which takes care of a new type of never expiring cookies used again to destroy your privacy.

Another extension I use is User Agent Overrider, which protects you a little bit further when you are surfing on the Internets. Truth is, even if you block trackers and cookies, there are still ways to find out who is coming on a website and this information is linked to your user agent info, which mentions what system and OS you use and what browser version you are running, as well as potential extensions. If you run Linux on ARM you are way more likely to be a unique little black sheep in the Windows x86 crowd and websites could just identify you uniquely via your user agent info. So with a user Agent modifier you can fool websites into believing you are on a different system than you really are. For example letting them believe here you are on Windows with Firefox22. But don’t fool yourself, this will not make you anonymous either since it’s still very likely you will still have a unique user agent combinaison, but at least it won’t be the same as the one you usually have. Check Panopticlick from EFF to realize the dangers of the user agent info. Yes, you have been tracked all along.

useragent

NoScript is another must have if you are still concerned about security and privacy. This way you can globally prevent javascript from running and therefore leak way less information about yourself at the same time. But this is a double-edged sword since it will render several popular websites completely unusable. Your choice.

Morning Coffee is a great little extension that has not been updated for a long time but still works fine in the latest Firefox version. It makes it possible to automatically open a number of websites you like to visit in different tabs, all at once on a click of a button. I set it up to launch Hacker News, the Pandora boards, gamesindustry.biz and vg247. A great way to quickly check news in very few steps every morning. You can even configure it to open different websites depending on the day of the week.

mornng

PixrGrabber is another cool tool to use if you want to capture the browser screen without launching a separate application. You can then share the screenshot online or save it locally. It’s even possible to select a particular part of the screen you want to grab. Show these morons who swear by smartphones the power of the real Firefox with this extension 🙂 Here’s me grabbing a part of the gamesindustry page below:

pixrgrab

and the result, two seconds later:

www.gamesindustry.biz 2013-10-7 7 57 24

Convincing? I hope so.

Lets finish with Save as PDF. Since you may not always be online with your Pandora, one way to read articles on the go in a portable format is to save them as pdf documents. That’s exactly what this extension does. Here’s an article from Gamesindustry below… as viewed in Firefox.

saveaspdf1

And the same page in my PDF reader after using the extension:

saveaspdf3

Yes. It’s as simple as that.

I could give tons of more extensions to try but that’s a good start to enhance your Firefox experience on the go with your Pandora. I recommend you use the latest Firefox 24 from hdonk since it’s quite faster than earlier builds. Oh, by the way, I wrote this entire post from my Pandora, using Firefox here and there to publish and modify this text in wordpress as well. That’s another killer Pandora feature for me: editing your blog from anywhere.

Have fun and let me know if you use any interesting extension on your Pandora that I did not mention! Comments are for sharing!

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