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This article was published on February 25, 2013

Firefox for Android beta adds per-tab private browsing, home screen shortcuts, support for 25m more phones

Firefox for Android beta adds per-tab private browsing, home screen shortcuts, support for 25m more phones
Emil Protalinski
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Emil Protalinski

Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Firefox 19 was released released less than a week ago, but already Mozilla has made a new Firefox for Android beta available. This new release adds per-tab private browsing, customizable home screen shortcuts, and support for 25 million more phones.

Per-tab private browsing is of course the biggest new feature. It allows you to switch between private and standard tabs within the same browsing session, meaning you don’t have to relaunch the Firefox app every time.

For those who don’t know, private browsing lets you browse the Internet without saving any information about which sites and pages you’ve visited (private browsing data does not show up in your AwesomeBar History or Awesome Screen shortcuts). Other browsers have it too, and is often referred to as “porn mode.”

firefox_beta

Customizable shortcuts on the home screen are pretty straightforward. You can now customize the shortcut images on the home screen with your favorite or most frequently visited sites by simply tapping and holding your top sites, and then choosing “pin” from the drop-down menu.

Last but not least, Mozilla is continuing to expand its ARMv6 support. Firefox 19 added support for 15 million more phones and now this beta is adding support for yet another 25 million. This is thanks to the minimum requirements of 600MHz, 384MB, and QVGA. The following devices are now supported as a result: Samsung Galaxy Next (GT-S5570, GT-S5578), HTC Aria (S31HT), HTC Legend (A6363), Samsung Dart (SGH-T499), Samsung Galaxy Pop (SCH-i559), and Samsung Galaxy Q (SGH-T589).

Here is the full Firefox 20 beta for Android changelog:

  • NEW: Per-tab private browsing.
  • NEW: Gingerbread and Honeycomb support for H.264/AAC/MP3 hardware decoders.
  • NEW: Top Sites in about:home are now customizable.
  • CHANGED: System requirements have been lowered to 384MB of RAM and QVGA displays.
  • DEVELOPER: Continued implementation of draft ECMAScript 6 – clear() and Math.imul.
  • HTML5: <canvas> now supports blend modes.
  • HTML5: Various <audio> and <video> improvements.
  • HTML5: getUserMedia implemented for web access to the user’s camera and microphone (with user permission).
  • FIXED: hide virtual keyboard when bookmarks list is opened (808408).
  • FIXED: Tablets – home tab thumbnails may appear cut off (824483).

You can grab the latest Firefox beta from the Google Play store.

Image credit: T. Al Nakib

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