Mozilla today launched Firefox 23, which adds a couple of interesting features that extend the browser’s capabilities beyond just displaying websites. On the desktop, Firefox recently added the ability to integrate a number of social sites like Facebook, Cliqz and Mixi or new sites like msnNOW into a persistent sidebar in the browser. Now it is expanding this feature by adding a share button to the browser toolbar, too.
This feature currently works with Facebook Messenger for Firefox and Cliqz and, as the Firefox team notes, allows you to “post an interesting article to your profile, share a recipe with your friends or send an idea for a gift in a private message or email, all without leaving the Web page you are visiting.”
The new desktop version was available on the organization’s FTP servers last night, but that was just the initial release of the installers. Firefox 23 has now officially been released over on Firefox.com and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play.
The biggest addition is no doubt the new share button and panel for the browser’s Social API. In short, developers can let users share content with friends in one click (Facebook users, for example, can use it to share content directly from Firefox, regardless of where they are on the Web).
Next up is the mixed content blocker, which prevents non-secure (HTTP) content on a website from being read or modified by attackers by blocking the non-secure content from being compromised. In case you’re wondering, mixed content occurs when a webpage containing a combination of both secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) content is delivered over a secure data channel to the browser. Here’s how it looks in action:
Also in this release, developers can finally use the new Network Monitor. It breaks down individual website components, highlighting how long it takes for each to load.
There are naturally other Firefox 23 features worth noting; here’s the official changelog:
- NEW: Mixed content blocking enabled to protects users from man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdroppers on HTTPS pages (learn more).
- NEW: Options panel created for Web Developer Toolbox.
- CHANGED: Updated Firefox Logo.
- CHANGED: Improved about:memory’s functional UI.
- CHANGED: Simplified interface for notifications of plugin installation.
- CHANGED: Enabled DXVA2 on Windows Vista+ to accelerate H.264 video decoding.
- 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.
- CHANGED: input type=’file’ rendering improvements (see bug 838675).
- CHANGED: Replace fixed-ratio audio resampler in webrtc.org capture code with Speex resampler and eliminate pseudo-44000Hz rate.
- CHANGED: “Load images automatically” and Always show the tab bar” checkboxes removed from preferences and reset to defaults.
- DEVELOPER: HTML5 input type=”range” form control implemented.
- DEVELOPER: Write more accessible pages on touch interfaces with new ARIA role for key buttons.
- DEVELOPER: Social share functionality.
- DEVELOPER: Added unprefixed requestAnimationFrame.
- DEVELOPER: Implemented a global browser console.
- DEVELOPER: Dropped blink effect from text-decoration: blink; and completely removed element
- DEVELOPER: New feature in toolbox: Network Monitor.
- FIXED: Various security fixes.