Mozilla Releases Firefox 5.0 for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android

| Product News

The Mozilla group announced Tuesday the release of Firefox 5.0 for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android. The new release includes support for CSS animations, and support for Mozilla’s “Do-Not-Track” feature across all of those platforms. The new version is faster, and also includes improved support for HTML 5 and other Web protocols and standards.

“The latest version of Firefox includes more than 1,000 improvements and performance enhancements that make it easier to discover and use all of the innovative features in Firefox,” the group said in its announcement. “This release adds support for more modern Web technologies that make it easier for developers to build amazing Firefox Add-ons, Web applications and websites.”

In the screenshot below, you can see the new look and feel of the browser, including the tab layout on top of the address bar.

Firefox 5 for Mac Screenshot

Firefox 5.0 for Mac screenshot

Firefox 5 release notes for Mac, Windows, and Linux:

  • Added support for CSS animations
  • The Do-Not-Track header preference has been moved to increase discoverability
  • Tuned HTTP idle connection logic for increased performance
  • Improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance
  • Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas
  • Improved spell checking for some locales
  • Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users
  • WebGL content can no longer load cross-domain textures
  • Background tabs have setTimeout and setInterval clamped to 1000ms to improve performance
  • Fixed several stability issues
  • Fixed several security issues

Android users can find out more about that version of the browser at the Mozilla site.

Firefox is free, and is available for download now.

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Comments

Terrin

I really wasn’t much of a fan of Firefox. However, with Apple refusing to give me some choice as to how the interface appears (e.g. I want tabs on top), and Google tracking my information like crazy, I thought I’d give Firefox another try. I have to say this version of Firefox has corrected a lot of my previous issues. First, it has a much more simplified interface. Second, it seems more Mac like. Third, it is quite quick. Fourth, it is highly customizable. The tabs are on top, and there is an extension to make a unified search address bar like Chrome. In addition, I can turn gesture support on (e.g to pinch in and out to control zooming)..

archimedes

I was never a fan of Firefox either, until Safari 5 came out. Safari 5 is still remarkably slow for me. I just ran a simple test opening the same 10 sites (using “Open in tabs” and “Open all in tabs” respectively) in Safari 5 and Firefox 5 - Safari takes about *twice as long* to load the same sites. It’s just amazing. Perhaps Safari 4 would have been faster, but I don’t have an easy way to test it. Short of reinstalling Safari 4, I’ve tried every known hint for trying to improve Safari 5’s sluggishness, to no avail.

Safari 5: so slow it makes Firefox seem fast.

archimedes

Incidentally, if Opera is available for iOS, why isn’t Firefox?

edit: Mozilla answered my question - iOS doesn’t allow apps to generate dynamic code, so Firefox wouldn’t be able to use its “J?germonkey” JavaScript engine, which incorporates a just-in-time (JIT) compiler. If I understand it correctly, the prohibition of dynamic code generation is not simply a silly developer rule but rather an a security feature enforced by the OS, as the runtime makes code pages read-only and prevents data pages from being executed.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If I understand it correctly, the prohibition of dynamic code generation is not simply a silly developer rule but rather an a security feature enforced by the OS, as the runtime makes code pages read-only and prevents data pages from being executed.

Or, if you look at the business effects, it keeps anything from competing with Apple’s App Store. The rule locks Flash out of the browser, for example.

Because on the security side, the recurring existence of untethered jailbreaks in the web browser is all you need to know about Apple’s inability to completely secure its browser and OS. Not that anyone else could do that either with software that complex, but neither can Apple, which makes the business effects more tenable as an explanation.

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