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Thursday, December 23, 2010
Firefox 4 Beta Provides an Easier Firefox Sync Setup and 3D Graphics

Mozilla released the latest Firefox 4 Beta. This beta offers easier account and new device setup for Firefox Sync, expanded support for 3D graphics in the browser and a revamped Firefox Add-ons Manager.

Firefox 4 Beta now includes a streamlined Firefox Sync setup, making it easier to bring Awesome bar history, bookmarks, open tabs and passwords across your computers and smartphones. Mozilla has made it much easier to setup Firefox Sync while still securing your Firefox data with the same high-grade encryption. Ragavan Srinivasan, Project Manager for Firefox Sync, describes the new setup procedure for desktops, laptops, Android or Nokia Maemo phones and iPhones in more detail in this blog post.

WebGL is an open standard for accelerated 3D graphic rendering on the Web that enables developers to build applications that until now required a user to install plug-ins. Firefox 4 Beta now supports WebGL for most modern built-in graphics cards, making it easier for developers to create interactive 3D games for the Web without the use of third-party plug-ins. For more information on WebGL, read this post from Principal Firefox Engineer Vlad Vukicevic.

Combined with Mozilla's previous work to bring open HTML5 technologies for animation, video, and sound to the Web, developers can now create experiences that are rendered directly in the browser, combining themselves with live data from the Internet.

The revamped Firefox Add-ons Manager is now available on Windows, Mac and Linux with an easy way to manage and discover add-ons. Now, add-ons update automatically with the Firefox Add-Ons Manager enables add-ons to update automatically so your add-ons are always up to date.

For more details on how to make your add-on compatible for Firefox 4, read this blog post from Firefox Add-ons Developer Relations Lead Jorge Villalobos.

You can download Firefox 4 Beta here.

Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo

Mozilla also released the newest Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo. The beta is now available in the Android Market, which you can find by opening the Market application on your phone and searching for "Mozilla Firefox." The Maemo builds are available for download here. This beta release is not feature or performance complete, Mozilla said.

Mozilla has made a number of changes to the look of Firefox 4 Beta, made discovery of add-ons easier, added the ability to save websites as PDFs to read later, fixed some keyboard issues and included support for complex scripts such as Arabic and Persian (on devices with the appropriate fonts).

Mozilla designed Firefox on mobile devices to minimize typing because typing on phones is difficult and time consuming. Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo now has support for "copy and paste" in the URL bar. Mozilla also simplified the setup process for Firefox Sync to reduce the amount of typing needed to securely access your browsing history, bookmarks, tabs and passwords from your desktop to your phone, making it easy to get to (and even log in to) any site with minimal typing.

Get involved with this beta release and Go Mobile.

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