Following the release of Firefox 22 just two days ago, Mozilla today announced updates to its Firefox Beta channel, which is now on version 23, on desktop as well as Android. The former has gained a lot of new features, including a new Share button and the opening of the Social API to all developers, while the latter has gained a long slew of minor additions.

Oh, and there’s a new logo too:

firefox logo 730x456 Firefox beta gets a new logo, Share button, Social API for all, mixed content blocker, network monitor, and more

Firefox Beta 23 for Desktop

Let’s take a look at the new desktop beta first, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest addition is no doubt the new sharing functionality that Mozilla is touting.

The Firefox beta has a new Share button and panel for Social API. In other words, developers can let users share content with friends in one click (Facebook users, for example, can use it to share content directly from Firefox).

In conjunction with this, the Firefox Social API is now open to all developers interested in integrating their website or service into Mozilla’s browser. The feature first arrived in Firefox 17 back in November 2012, turned on Facebook integration in December 2012, and then was expanded to support more providers with Firefox 21 in May.

In short, the Social API lets you keep up with the latest social happenings without having to switch between, or open, new tabs. Mozilla says it developed the feature “to enable social services and providers to integrate directly into Firefox to make users browsing experience more social, customizable and personal” – now that any developer can participate, the floodgates have been opened.

Next up is the mixed content blocker, which prevents nonsecure (HTTP) content on a website being read or modified by attackers by blocking the nonsecure content from being compromised. In case you’re wondering, mixed content occurs when a webpage containing a combination of both secure (HTTPS) and nonsecure (HTTP) content is delivered over a secure data channel to the browser. Here’s how it looks in action (more details are available here):

FigureA1 Firefox beta gets a new logo, Share button, Social API for all, mixed content blocker, network monitor, and more

Last but not least, developers can finally use the new Network Monitor. It breaks down individual website components, highlighting how long it takes for each to load. More details are here.

For more details on what else is new in Firefox beta, here are the release notes:

  • NEW: Support for new scrollbar style in Mac OS X 10.7 and newer.
  • NEW: Mixed content blocking enabled to protects users from man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdroppers on HTTPS pages (learn more).
  • CHANGED: Improved about:memory’s functional UI.
  • CHANGED: Enabled DXVA2 on Windows Vista+ to accelerate H.264 video decoding.
  • CHANGED: Updated Firefox Logo.
  • CHANGED: “Load images automatically”, “Enable JavaScript”, and Always show the tab bar” checkboxes removed from preferences.
  • CHANGED: Simplified interface for notifications of plugin installation.
  • CHANGED: Users can now switch to a new search provider across the entire browser.
  • CHANGED: CSP policies using the standard syntax and semantics will now be enforced.
  • DEVELOPER: Implemented a global browser console.
  • DEVELOPER: Social share functionality.
  • DEVELOPER: HTML5 form control implemented.
  • DEVELOPER: Write more accessible pages on touch interfaces with new ARIA role for key buttons.
  • DEVELOPER: Added unprefixed requestAnimationFrame.
  • DEVELOPER: New feature in toolbox: Network Monitor.
  • DEVELOPER: Dropped blink effect from text-decoration: blink; and completely removed element.

Firefox Beta 23 for Android

Firefox 23 beta for Android seems to be a very big feature release. It’s arguably not as significant as the desktop version, but it still packs quite a few new additions (more details here).

Firefox beta for Android has the following release notes:

  • NEW: Dynamic toolbar hides navigation bar when scrolling down page content.
  • NEW: Basic support for subscribing to feeds (RSS/Atom) with long-tap in address bar.
  • NEW: Add pages to reading list on devices incapable of accessing Reader Mode.
  • NEW: Preliminary implementation of Firefox Health Report for Android (see FAQ).
  • NEW: Added a setting to let users display URLs in the title bar instead of page titles.
  • NEW: Users can now specify a default search engine.
  • NEW: Implemented switch-to-tab.
  • NEW: Added hu and tr to Android multi-locale builds.
  • NEW: Added Serif/Sans Serif font toggle to Reader Mode.
  • NEW: Long press Reader Mode icon to add article to Reading List (try it!).
  • CHANGED: Awesomescreen remembers user entered search terms.
  • CHANGED: CSP policies using the standard syntax and semantics will now be enforced.
  • DEVELOPER: Write more accessible pages on touch interfaces with new ARIA role for key buttons.
  • DEVELOPER: Added unprefixed requestAnimationFrame.
  • DEVELOPER: HTML5 input type form control implemented.
  • DEVELOPER: Dropped blink effect from text-decoration: blink; and completely removed element .

Mozilla is planning to release Firefox 23 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android in early August. We’ll keep you posted.

Top Image credit: T. Al Nakib