Firefox 8 has launched, less than six weeks following the release of Firefox 7, consistent with Mozilla’s rapid release cycle.
New features of the Firefox 8 release, which is for desktop editions of Windows, Linux, Mac, and mobile Firefox for Android, includes Twitter search integration, increased support for WebGL graphics hardware acceleration, and on demand tab-group loading. Mozilla explained in its blog post that with the inclusion of Twitter search in Firefox 8, “Twitter search in Firefox makes it easier to discover new topics, #hashtags, and usernames.” Languages supported for the new Twitter search function are English, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Japanese, but the company will release versions for other languages in the future.
Web developers will appreciate improvements in WebGL hardware graphics acceleration; Mozilla explained it has added “support for Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) which lets developers load WebGL textures from other domains in a secure way.” Developers can view examples of WebGL applications here. Microsoft and Apple believe WebGL presents security problems, and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 provides hardware acceleration using Window’s newest DirectX APIs.
Mozilla said in its blog post that the new Master Password feature has been added to Firefox for Android because: “This will help your private info stay private if you ever share or lose your Android device.” Firefox 8 for Android also lets users set up icons that open to certain websites. Firefox 8 can be downloaded here.