Firefox 23 Launches With Built-in Share Button, New Security Features On Desktop, Updated “Awesome Screen” On Mobile

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Mozilla today launched Firefox 23, which adds a couple of interesting features that extend the browser’s capabilities beyond just displaying websites. On the desktop, Firefox recently added the ability to integrate a number of social sites like Facebook, Cliqz and Mixi or new sites like msnNOW into a persistent sidebar in the browser. Now it is expanding this feature by adding a share button to the browser toolbar, too.

This feature currently works with Facebook Messenger for Firefox and Cliqz and, as the Firefox team notes, allows you to “post an interesting article to your profile, share a recipe with your friends or send an idea for a gift in a private message or email, all without leaving the Web page you are visiting.”

Mozilla expects to launch more services that will support the share button soon, and the organization says it expects other sites to start supporting its social API soon, too. “There is endless potential for integrating social networks, e-mail, finance, music, to-do lists, sports, news and other applications into your Firefox experience,” the Firefox team writes in today’s announcement.

This update also brings mixed-content blocking to Firefox’s stable release channel. When you use Firefox 23 to visit sites that use both secure HTTPS sources and also loads data from regular HTTP pages, the browser will now try to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks by blocking any scripts from running on these sites (though it will allow the browser to download static images).

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With this release, Mozilla is also finally dropping support for the <blink> element — a scourge of 90s amateur websites — from the stable version of its browser. On OS X, Firefox now also supports the new scrollbar style.

You can find the full changelog here.

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Firefox 23 For Android

On Android, Mozilla is also adding quite a few new features to its browser. The title bar on Firefox’s Awesome Screen (it’s personalized new-tab page), for example, now auto-completes URLs “to get you to your favorite sites faster.” It also now knows when a site in your favorites is already open and will just take you there when you click on its icon instead of opening a new tab. Similar to the behavior of Chrome and other mobile browsers, the URL bar also now automatically hides as you scroll down.

This new version of Firefox for Android also gets an updated RSS reader that automatically detects RSS feeds. If a page has a discoverable feed, you can now do a long-tap on the Awesome Bar and the option to “subscribe to page” will pop up.