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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mozilla Firefox 30 is now available for download - Here's what is new


Mozilla Firefox 30Mozilla has just released Firefox version 30.0 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Firefox 30 is a minor update in terms of functionality that has been added or changed in the browser. This is in stark contrast to Firefox 29 which introduced the Australis interface to the browser.

You can download the update to your device by heading over to Help > About on your Firefox browser or by pointing your browser to Firefox.com. You can also download the latest version and install the update manually using the links which follow

Firefox 30 brings the following changes

  • Most plugins are not activated by default - Unless the plugin has been whitelisted by Mozilla, it will be deactivated by default. When a webpage requires that plugin, the user will be prompted to enable it. It includes Adobe Flash and several other popular plugins such as Unity, Skype and several McAfee plugins. What you won't find on the list are Java, Google Update, Silverlight or Microsoft Office.
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  • Support for GStreamer 1.0 - Probably the biggest feature addition of Firefox 30 is support for GStreamer 1.0. Firefox up until now supported GStreamer 0.1 only which, while still supported is being replaced with the newer version which means that many Linux distributions will move over to GStreamer 1.0 eventually (or may have done so already). GStreamer adds H.264 video as well as mp3 and aac audio support on Linux systems with GStreamer so that contents can be played directly in the web browser. (source)
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  • New Sidebar Button - You can display bookmarks and the browsing history in a sidebar in Firefox. This can either be done with a tap on Alt and the selection of View > Sidebar or by using the shortcuts Ctrl-B to display bookmarks in the sidebar or Ctrl-H to display the history instead.

    Additional contents, such as social providers or tabs (via third-party add-ons), can be displayed in sidebars in the browser as well.

    While only a handful providers support Firefox's Social API, Facebook even removed its implementation again, it is something that Mozilla puts a lot of focus on.

    The new sidebar button is available in the customization menu. You can drag and drop it to another location of the browser for easy access. When clicked on, it displays the available sidebars so that you can open and close them easily using the button.
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  • Command-E on Mac OS X sets find term to selected text
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  • Changes for Developers - The following changes affect developers. Check the references at the bottom of the page for full details on all changes.
    • Disallow calling WebIDL constructors as functions on the web.
    • Move some addon-private JSM’s to a subdirectory. (source)
    • Fixes to box-shadow and other visual overflow (source)
    • Mute and audio available when using WebAudio (source)
    • background-blend-mode enabled by default
    • Use of line-height allowed for <input type="reset|button|submit">
    • ES6 array and generator comprehensions implemented. (source)
    • Error stack now contains column number. (source)
    • Support for alpha option in canvas context options.
    • Box model highlighter implemented in Developer Tools. (source)
    • Highlight and jump to nodes from the Console.
    • Better highlighting for all JS objects and functions in console output.



Meanwhile Firefox 30 for Android offers the following new features and improvements
  • Quickshare Buttons and the context menu - When you long-tap on elements on a web page in Firefox for Android, a context menu is displayed. If you tap on a link, you get options to open it in a new tab for example or share it.If you select share, a list of services is displayed that you can select one from. You can for instance share the link using Gmail, on Facebook, or send it to a translate service to translate the destination automatically.Once you have selected a service from that list, it will be displayed in the main context menu as an icon as well so that you can select it faster the next time. (source)
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  • Add web content to home page panels using Home Feeds Add-On - Firefox Hub is a new feature exclusive to the mobile version of the web browser which enables add-on developers to display feeds in a panel on Firefox's home page. Version one of the Hub launches with Firefox 30 for Android while version two and three are currently on schedule to be released with Firefox 31 and 32 respectively.
  • Locales added: Belarusian [be], Argentine Spanish [es-AR], Mexican Spanish [es-MX], Indonesian [id], Latvian [lv], Malay [ms]

Security information are released after the final version of Firefox is out for some time.

Additional Resources

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