Firefox 16 Beta released

Mozilla revealed latest version of Firefox, the Firefox 15, on Tuesday. While the news about Firefox 15 is still hot, Mozilla has gone ahead and released a beta version of Firefox 16 to public.

Firefox 16 has enhancements that will appeal web developers. The beta version is also known as Firefox Aurora 16. This version will follow up on JavaScript debugger found on version 15. Apart from that, the 16th version is also equipped with an all new Developer Toolbar.

Users can gain access to the Developer Toolbar either by hitting shift-F2 on keyboard or from the Web Developer menu. This tool will basically provide access to Web development tools. The most notable feature includes the command line interface (CLI), which is of no use to a normal web user, but very convenient for developers. Firefox CLI is claimed to have potential to accelerate development work as typing produces results faster rather than toggling across screens and various menus.

“This command line is designed to be quick-to-type and discoverable,” said Mozilla product manager Kevin Dangoor in a blog post. “It will complete commands and parameters for you, to save you typing.”

The CLI provides access to the Web Console, which is basically a user interface where in which one can view all the information about web page’s log messages. Apart from this, the user can also control the debugger, alter css files using Style Editor, view page elements using Page Inspector, view mobile versions of a page using Responsive Design View tool, and control Tilt, which is essentially a 3-D Web page visualization tool.

For a web developer, CLI will be very convenient to use. For instance, if the developer wants to resize the page to fit a 320×480 pixel mobile phone screen, all he has to do is type “resize to 320 480” into the CLI, and CLI will execute the task. The CLI also allows users to view and edit cookie files, take a screenshot of various elements or web page as a whole. Pagemod command is another notable facility as it will allow the developer to modify certain Web page code. For instance, say we want to remove all the iframe elements from a page. This task can be easily executed using the command “pagemod remove element iframe”, which will effectively strip the page off any iframe elements such as ads or widgets.

Firefox Beta is also available for Android in Play Store. On Android, the new features on version 16 beta include:

Reader Mode: A new Reader Mode has made into this version. It basically helps the reader by stripping the content off any ads and provides the user with meat of the content. The reader mode also reformats images and increases readability by upsizing the font size. In order to switch to this mode, the user has to tap on the new “Reader” icon that can be found in the Awesome Bar.

Share Button: Users can now share pages easily by just tapping on the Share button. This button can be found on bottom right of the page. Currently, this option supports Bluetooth, email and SMS.
Other improvements/changes brought into Firefox 16 beta includes:
• Fixed Text Selection for static web pages
• Unprefixed CSS3 Animations, Transitions, Transforms and Gradients
• Opus Support
• Improved JavaScript responsiveness
The Android app can be downloaded from the Play Store over here.

What are your thoughts on Mozilla’s latest offering? Have you tried the desktop or Android app? If yes, how has it been treating you? Hit the comments below if you find the beta worth your while.

One Reply to “Firefox 16 Beta released”

  1. Aurora refers to the Alpha channel… which 16 was already in previously. Versions of Firefox in the Beta Channel are called… you guessed it! Firefox Beta.

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