Mozilla today launched the latest version of its Firefox browser. The main feature in this release was originally supposed to be support for the Windows 8 Metro mode, but as the organization announced last week, it decided to scrap this because of low user adoption during the beta process.
Without Windows 8 support, the new features in today’s release are relatively minor. They include support for VP9 video decoding and the OS X notification center, so that notifications from web apps can now appear there. Also new is support for volume control for HTML5 audio and video and support for WebM Opus audio.
All of these updates are for both the desktop and Android version.
In addition, the mobile app is also getting support for native text selection, cut and copy, as well as additional quick share buttons and predictive lookup for Awesomebar entries.
None of this is earth shattering, but it’s really just the quiet before the storm. Firefox 29, currently scheduled for release next month, is currently scheduled to be the first to feature Firefox’s new Australis user interface (though it could slip to Firefox 30). The new interface will surely stir up quite a bit of dust, as it is a major departure from the existing one and resembles Chrome in many ways. It highlights customization and is meant to simplify the browser UI.
Mozilla has been working on this new UI for a long time now, but started talking about it more publicly about a year ago. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how people react when the next version launches (and somebody will surely develop a skin that brings back the old interface).