updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
App adds Twitter Search and security enhancements
Mozilla has posted a new Beta version of its Firefox browser for testing (free, Mac/Windows/Linux, Android). The release adds features and user interface elements that make browsing easier. Twitter search has been added to both platforms as well.
The Tweeter search feature adds Twitter as a default search option for searching hashtags and usernames. Initially, it will be available in English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Czech, Russian, Danish, Suomi, and Norwegian language searches.
The Android Beta adds support for a single master password and home screen bookmarking. The latter allows a user to add and launch any bookmarked website from their Android Home Screen.
In the computer Beta release, Mozilla has added on-demand tab restoration. With it, a user can save time by opening only selected web pages when a window with multiple tabs is restored. Mozilla has also animated reordering and tearing off tabs.
For extra security, the new beta provides enhanced add-on controls. When Firefox starts and finds that a third-party program has installed an add-on, the app will disable the add-on until the user has explicitly confirmed they want to keep, disable, or delete it.
Firefox 8 also contains some new tools for Web developers. Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) lets developers load securely textures from other domains for WebGL. Developers can now also add items directly to the Firefox right click menu using simple HTML5 markup. Video and audio HTML5 media elements can now be added to a website without degrading performance.
Mozilla just officially released Firefox 7 earlier this week after a six week beta. The short lag between releases is consistent with Mozilla's practice of offering incremental releases more frequently rather than major occasional releases. If Mozilla remains true to form, the official version 8 release should be posted before Thanksgiving.