Mozilla today launched version 25 of its Firefox browser for Windows, OS X, Linux and Android. The highlight of the new Android version is a new guest browsing mode that allows you to share your phone or tablet with your friend and family without having to worry about them looking at your browsing history, bookmarks, passwords or other data.
Once you tap the “New Guest Session” button, Firefox will restart with a clean profile and once your guests close the browser again, all of their information will be wiped. This, Mozilla argues, “means you can let friends and family borrow your phone or tablet to surf the Web and make sure your own information is safe and secure.”
Also new on Android is support for Firefox’s mixed content blocking, the organization’s technology for blocking man-in-middle attacks and eavesdroppers on HTTPS pages, as well as the ability to take any image in the browser and turn it into a wallpaper for your device or add it as a photo to a contact.
As usual, this version also introduces a number of new features for developers, including support for some new CSS3 features and the Contacts API. The one feature users will likely notice first, though, is that developers can now write add-ons for the Android version that add indicators to the URL Bar, similar to what Firefox’s desktop users are already used to.
On all platforms, Firefox now supports the Web Audio API. This may not sound all so revolutionary at first – the web always had some kind of audio support, after all – but this API allows developers to manipulate audio in the browser in ways that weren’t previously possible.
In today’s announcement, Mozilla specifically notes that this technology will be extremely useful for developers who want to write browser-based games. It offers support for positional audio, for example, as well as for effects like reverb.
To showcase these capabilities, the organization teamed up with Goo Technologies, which created a pretty cool technical demo that uses the company’s HTML5 graphics platform and the Web Audio API to showcase the kind of immersive experience developers can create in the browser.
The Web Audio API is a W3C standard, but as usual, different browser vendors implement these standards in different ways. To help developers make sure their apps work in all browsers, Mozilla published a guide to how its version is different from those of its competitors.