Firefox 4 beta, what’s new?

Darren Allan

January 22, 2011

The beta of the next big release of Firefox, version 4, has been made available by Mozilla.

You can download and test it here. So what’s new with the fourth incarnation of Mozilla’s browser?

Tabs have been relocated at the top, being given “visual priority” as the company puts it. More synchronisation options have been provided, along with an Add-on Manager.

Multi-touch support has been integrated for Windows 7, along with support for WebM video and WebGL (3D graphics).

In fact, a new HTML5 parser and full support for web video, audio, and file handling is included, along with CSS3 features like Transitions and Transformations, which facilitate complex animations on web pages.

Tweaks to tighten up privacy have also been implemented, along with crash protection measures so when the likes of Flash or Silverlight crash, they don’t take the browser with them.

And, of course, there are big claimed performance enhancements, with full hardware acceleration, and a JägerMonkey JavaScript engine which is triple the speed of Firefox 3.6.12 according to benchmarks.

Mozilla wrote on its blog page: “We continue to improve and polish Firefox 4 Beta to ensure we deliver an awesome experience to our 400 million users around the world. We couldn’t do this without the help of our beta testers and their feedback.”

“Please continue to test Firefox 4 Beta on your favourite websites and report issues with anything from games, video and music to graphics and forms through the Feedback button on the browser.”


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