Skip to main content

Mozilla Firefox’s new add-on lets you surf the web with your voice

Mozilla is bringing a voice assistant to its Firefox browser. The company has released an experimental, new add-on that lets you surf the web with just your voice. Called Firefox Voice, it’s capable of recognizing natural-language speech and can do much more than simply fire up websites on command.

Firefox Voice offers the ability to perform a whole bunch of browser-related tasks hands-free. Once installed, you can ask it to open websites, switch to another tab, take the current web page’s screenshot, and more. You can invoke it either by clicking the add-on’s button or pressing the keyboard shortcut. Firefox Voice also understands natural language which means you don’t necessarily have to stick to specific commands.

For instance, you can say “Who created Breaking Bad” and it will pull a little Wikipedia snippet with the creator’s details. Firefox Voice can also search inside compatible web pages through URL manipulation. With this, you can, for example, ask it to “look up Florence hotel reservation in Gmail.” On top of that, it can execute a wide range of browser tasks such as reading the page aloud, muting a tab, or translating a website.

Firefox Voice is compatible with media controls as well. So if you’re on a website that’s playing some audio, you can trigger the add-on and adjust the playback without reaching out for the keyboard. Mozilla has bundled a handful of additional handy functions for a more convenient experience, such as assigning a long command a shortcut or pulling up directions, although it’s worth noting that unlike the voice assistants you’re used to, Firefox Voice can’t talk just yet. It only shows the results on the screen.

Mozilla has built Firefox Voice through the Google Cloud Speech Service, which means your audio recordings are processed by both Mozilla and Google. However, the company highlights that you have the option to set your data to self-destruct immediately.

“When you choose to use Firefox Voice, your voice recordings are sent to Mozilla and Google’s Cloud Speech service for processing to provide you with suggested text. We do not keep the recordings or the transcripts of the recordings unless we specifically request it and you specifically consent,” Mozilla says in Firefox Voice’s Privacy Policy.

Firefox Voice is still in beta and to test it, you will have to sign up for it here. Once you’ve registered, look for a download link and instructions in your email inbox.

Editors' Recommendations

Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
This new Windows 11 feature will help you protect your passwords
A man sits, using a laptop running the Windows 11 operating system.

The new Windows 11 22H2 update was just released, bringing an interesting security feature. Dubbed "Enhanced Phishing Protection," this feature was made to help users protect their Windows passwords a little bit better.

Enhanced Phishing Protection will warn users whenever they enter their Windows password in places where it's not needed. Here's how it works.

Read more
YouTube’s dislike button is barely functional, says Mozilla
Person Holding Tablet Computer Showing Videos

YouTube's dislike button does nothing for the algorithm, a new Mozilla study has found. We continue to see content we don't want no matter how much we mash that thumbs down. The same goes for "Not Interested" and "Don't recommend this channel" options.

The report, titled Does This Button Work? Investigating YouTube's Ineffective User Controls, comes after a months-long study of YouTube behavior by the Mozilla Foundation. They enlisted the help of 20,000 volunteer web users through an extension on Mozilla's Firefox browser, the RegretsReporter.

Read more
This game lets hackers attack your PC, and you don’t even need to play it
Genshin Impact characters.

Hackers have been abusing the anti-cheat system in a massively popular game, and you don't even need to have it installed on your computer to be affected.

The game in question is called Genshin Impact, and according to a new report, hackers are able to utilize the game's anti-cheat measures in order to disable antivirus programs on the target machine. From there, they're free to conduct ransomware attacks and take control of the device.

Read more