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Firefox 15 brings tablet optimizations, search improvements

updated 03:37 pm EDT, Tue August 28, 2012

Variants posted for mobile and desktop platforms

Mozilla has released Firefox 15 for desktop platforms and Android devices, along with its Thunderbird 15 e-mail client. The company has finally brought its redesigned Android browser to tablet devices, adding a tablet-optimized UI with a redesigned "Awesome Bar," a new tabs experience that supports swipe-to-close, and many of the performance enhancements that recently arrived on the smartphone edition.

"You'll notice everything is quicker, from startup and page load times to panning and zooming and Web app performance," Mozilla wrote in a blog post.

Users can now request desktop sites via an option on the drop-down menu, while find-in-page search has been added. The revamped Awesome Bar also provides hybrid results for queries, listing Google search suggestions alongside relevant search history and bookmarks.

The desktop Firefox 15 release primarily focuses on under-the-hood tweaks, finally enabling background updates to eliminate the need to manually download the latest version. The update also brings WebGL enhancements, optimized memory usage for add-ons, and support for additional HTML5 features.

Thunderbird 15 has been redesigned with many of the same interface elements found in Firefox, as Mozilla aims to make a common experience across all its software offerings on mobile and desktop platforms. Other improvements include Do Not Track, support for Ubuntu One, and multi-channel chat.

Firefox 15 is now available as a free download from the Google Play store for Android devices, or directly from the company for Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. Thunderbird 15 is available as a free download for Mac, Windows and Linux machines.

by MacNN Staff



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