Firefox 4 Beta 8 Announced

. December 23, 2010 . 0 Comments

Mozilla has announced the eighth beta release of Firefox 4. There is also a beta update for Android and Maemo mobile phones.

Firefox 4 beta 8 has more than 1,400 bug fixes, some improvements to the new add-ons interface, better syncing and more hardware-accelerated WebGL support.

Streamlined Firefox Sync Setup
Firefox 4 Beta now includes a streamlined Firefox Sync setup, making it easier to bring Awesome bar history, bookmarks, open tabs and passwords across your computers and smartphones. Based on your feedback, we’ve made it much easier to setup Firefox Sync while still securing your Firefox data with the same high-grade encryption. Ragavan Srinivasan, Project Manager for Firefox Sync, describes the new setup procedure for desktops, laptops, Android or Nokia Maemo phones and iPhones in more detail (and with videos!) in this blog post.

Increased Support for 3D Graphics
WebGL is an open standard for accelerated 3D graphic rendering on the Web that enables developers to build applications that until now required a user to install plug-ins. Firefox 4 Beta now supports WebGL for most modern built-in graphics cards, making it easier for developers to create interactive 3D games, vivid graphics and new visual experiences for the Web without the use of third-party plug-ins. For more information on WebGL, read this post from Principal Firefox Engineer Vlad Vukicevic.

Combined with our previous work to bring open HTML5 technologies for animation, video, and sound to the Web, developers can now create amazing experiences that are rendered directly in the browser, combining themselves with live data from the Internet. Watch the video of the “Flight of the Navigator” below, or better yet, try it on your computer (it requires a modern computer with recent graphics hardware). The live demo is rendered in your browser as you watch. As Professor and Mozilla Developer Dave Humphrey describes, this is not a video – it’s built using open technologies, pulls in data from Twitter and Flickr, and puts it all together as you watch.

Automatic Updates with new Firefox Add-ons Manager
The revamped Firefox Add-ons Manager is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux with an easy way to manage and discover add-ons to enhance and personalize your browsing experience. Now, add-ons update automatically with the Firefox Add-Ons Manager enables add-ons to update automatically so your add-ons are always up to date. For more information on the Firefox Add-ons Manager, see this blog post from Jennifer Boriss on the Firefox User Experience team.

Making Firefox Add-ons Compatible
We are working with the amazing community of add-ons developers to get the gallery of thousands of beneficial and fun add-ons ready to customize the features, look and functionality of Firefox 4 Beta. For more details on how to make your add-on compatible for Firefox 4, read this blog post from Firefox Add-ons Developer Relations Lead Jorge Villalobos.

The final version is still a couple of months away.

Beta download: https://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

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