May 23, 2011 weblog
Firefox 5 beta released for desktop, mobile
(PhysOrg.com) -- The beta version of Firefox 5, a popular cross-platform web browser, now has release versions ready for both the desktop and the mobile browser user groups. The beta does not have many noticeable differences from the current version of the browser, Firefox 4, aside from the introduction of the channel changer feature and the move of Do Not Track to users privacy settings.
While you may not be able to see the changes in the beta version visually in the browser, this new version does represent two serious upgrades to the browser. The first is to fix the list of bugs the end users found in the current version of the software. The second is to allow for a higher level of support for different types of programming languages and tools such as: HTML5, MathML, SMIL, and CSS animations.
Now, lets take a look at the new features that you would be getting with the beta. The channel changer allows you to switch back and forth between the different versions of the software without putting in a separate installer. So, if you do not like this version you can go back and get the old one without an uninstall and reinstall.
The second issue is the opt-in Do Not Track feature. In the version 5 beta this feature is also being added to the mobile browser. At the first glance it seems like a really cool feature for browsing in stealth mode, but it is worth bearing in mind that this system will not keep you hidden if the sites that you visit do not have the ability to recognize the header code that this feature sends out. So, consider it at best mixed browsing.
The beta will be short lived, since the full version is expected to launch on June 21st.
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