Introducing FoxToPhone 1.2 (still in beta)

13 Jul

Today we’ve uploaded the first beta of FoxToPhone 1.2(Updated link to beta2) to the Add-ons repository. We still plan to add an extra feature before releasing it as stable, but first of all this version requires lots of testing, so that’s why I’m writing this post to introduce you to the changes that we’ve done.

The most important part is that we have changed the authentication system to use OAuth like the Chrome extension, so we’re now using again the latest API. This will help us to implement any new feature that it’s added in the protocol, like a theorical PhoneToBrowser, but it has a real benefit right now: if someone tried to use FoxToPhone without the apk already installed and configured in his phone, currently the server was returning a generic “500 internal server error”, but now we get again the specific message that the device isn’t registered and can show you an instructions page.

But this change has one risk, several people have been claiming problems with ChromeToPhone since it changed to OAuth, and so we wouldn’t like to introduce such problems with FoxToPhone.

We’ve been testing FoxToPhone with several accounts, also with accounts that had the 2 steps verification enabled and they are working fine, but we can’t test every possible configuration, people might have strange things in their configuration, some hidden problem that isn’t obvious, and that’s why those OAuth problems (reported as “ChromeToPhone remains in a tab saying Connecting….” ) have surfaced just for some people.

So please, if you had problems with ChromeToPhone but FoxToPhone has been working fine so far, we would like you to please test this beta. If you have problems then please write back here so we can try to help you and find a fix that can help also other people. On the other hand if the new FoxToPhone works fine, then please also write back so we can know that we haven’t made any mistake and all our efforts have been worth.

That’s enough about OAuth, now the second change in this version: file transfers for everyone.

Previously we announced that there was a method in FoxToPhone to enable file transfers by setting a hidden preference. Due to time constrains (and also being tired after coding all the upload pane) we left that option hidden without a general option that can be easily used.

This past week I’ve resumed the work, ironed out some bugs and aesthetic issues with the upload pane and then searched for some public hosting, and found that was the kind of service that we needed. It offers hosting of files without requiring to create first an account there, but you can register in order to get extra benefits, and their API was so simple that the most complex part of adding support in FoxToPhone was adjusting the preferences pane.

Of course, as the file transfer is using a 3rd party server we think that it’s better to stay disabled by default, but you can easily enable it in the preferences pane:

First open the Add-Ons pane and click on Options of Fox To Phone

In that dialog click on the “Server” dropdown and select, that’s all. You can keep using your own server if you put “Custom” and write the url in the textbox that appears below (if you already had set a custom server the dialog should show correctly that option).

After enabling that option you can right-click on the toolbar button and you’ll see these options:

When you select “Send files…” a file picker will open and you can select one or more files to transfer. They will be sent to the choosen server and then the link to get them back will be sent to your phone. A little issue with right now is that the downloaded file doesn’t keep the original name, only the extension. Also if you are transfering pictures you’ll need to click once to view the original picture and then press long on the picture to use the Save option in the browser’s context menu.

If you select “Send folder…” in the context menu, then the selected folder will be zipped and that’s the file that will be sent to your phone, you can unzip it there with the app that you prefer to use.

Also, beside using the context menu, you can directly drag&drop files or folders onto the toolbar button and they will be transfered in the same way.

One last minor feature added in this release is that URLs that are too long and previously failed to be sent now are automatically shortened with

As I said previously we haven’t finished with this 1.2 version, we want to add at least one extra option in the Server options, but as the current tests seem to be good we want you to test this beta version so you can give us your feedback about it. We’ll be glad to hear your comments, don’t be afraid to test this version it’s working fine for us and you can easily uninstall it and return back to the stable version available in the Add-ons site.


Leave a Reply


  1. DrMacinyasha

    14/07/2011 at 08:13

    Tried this on my account which has Two-Step Authentication enabled. Just like the latest version of the Chrome plugin, I am taken to the Grant/Deny Access screen, and then to a ChromeToPhone logo without the page/clipboard/link/whatever being sent to my phone. The non-OAuth versions all work fine, however.

    • alfonso

      14/07/2011 at 13:01

      I’ve sent you an email suggesting some tests and requesting some additional info. If we can find out a solution it will be great for the rest of users with problems.
      Thanks for your help

      • alfonso

        19/07/2011 at 19:24

        For other people: We’ve fixed the problem with a new 1.2 beta 2, so please keep testing and let us know of any problem so we can fix it.

        • John L. Galt

          23/07/2012 at 01:18

          I’m not able to transfer any links to my phone. I cannot ascertain when it started, but I do know that it has worked as recently as 2 weeks ago.

          Being the chronic Beta tester that I am, you’re probably going to groan, but here are my specs:

          Minefield (Nightly) v17.0a1 (2012-07-21)
          F2P 1.2.2
          Motorola Droid BIONIC running ICS Leak 6.7.235

          FWIW: F2P and the C2P .apk worked in a previous leak, .232, as of 2 weeks ago.

          Also, this particular build of Fx is springing up issues all over the place, AFAICT, and I am going to install today’s build and see if there are any fixes / changes in the F2P functionality.

          • John L. Galt

            23/07/2012 at 01:41

            OK, it was definitely the Fx build – links working again with newest build.

            Sorry for the false alarm.

  2. rubin110

    19/07/2011 at 16:05

    Thanks for making this an awesome thing to have. Quick feature request, could the plugin have a menu item with a submenu of stuff normally found in the right click context menu? Kinda hate adding more buttons to the UI of Firefox. Thanks!

    • alfonso

      19/07/2011 at 19:20

      Adding elements to the main menu is usually worse. People can opt to add or remove a toolbar button, but if we inject a new entry in the main menu, many people will be upset (specially as now the main menu is getting simpler).

  3. Mattias

    12/08/2011 at 19:09

    First I must just say that this is a legendary extension for Firefox and thank you so much for it (porting it and so forth)!

    I’m using 1.2beta3 and Two-Step Auth with multi-user seems to work, kind-of.

    At first I was logged in to 4 accounts, and at the grant screen I switched account (to my Android-account) and granted this extension access.
    This did not work (could be because of network disconnect for 10 seconds), and I got a alert/pop-up with some random text in it.
    But I logged out of all my accounts, logged in to my Android-account first (so it’s URL contains “/mail/u/0/”), granted the extension access, and so everything worked. After that I logged in to my other accounts and for the moment everything is working.

    Question; is there any info site on the “File transfers” option?

    Great work, peace!

    • alfonso

      13/08/2011 at 14:34

      Thank you for the comments.

      That alert is a little mistake in the latest beta, it will be fixed in the final release (hopefully)

      What kind of info do you want about the “file transfers”?
      it’s explained in this post, but if it isn’t clear we can try to improve it.

  4. banyan

    02/09/2011 at 05:36

    Is it feasible to push a Google Maps location or direction from desktop to the Android Google Maps app?

    • alfonso

      02/09/2011 at 06:59

      Yes, sending maps should work. The only problem is that the maps page might change or the application might not support all the features of the browser version, but we try to send the “link to this page” from the desktop browser and that link will be opened by the maps app.

  5. crafall

    06/10/2011 at 17:28

    Love the addon, and so far has worked flawlessly. I was wondering if there are any plans to add the ability to send multiple links at a time, for instance sending all open tabs to the phone, or being able to select multiple links and sending them all.

    • alfonso

      07/10/2011 at 18:20

      I can’t speak for Patrick, but I don’t think that sending multiple links is something that needs extra code in the addon.
      The protocol used by the Android app is simple and when you send a link you send just one link at a time, so we would need to send all the links one by one anyway. When they arrive at the phone the browser will open each one overwriting the previous one, so in the end I don’t think that it will be to useful.
      Just click send on each link that you want to send and you’re done.

  6. E

    17/07/2012 at 11:54


    This add-on is really great.
    However, I was wondering if there was some kind of API available to, for example allows a JS page to send some text into the phone clipboard, or open a page, or anything (hopefully with a confirm box to prevent peoples spamming the phone of their visitors)

    • alfonso

      24/07/2012 at 18:30

      No, there’s no such API.
      If you want it for yourself, you could create on your server a script that includes this functionality by porting the code, but I’m not sure that creating a public API so web pages can send data to the visitors phones is a good idea.