Mozilla Firefox 39 comes with Hello link sharing, smoother animation and scrolling on OS X, enhanced Android pasting

Mozilla today launched a new beta version of Firefox (version 39) for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Prominent additions to the browser include an option invite others to Firefox Hello chats using social networks like Hello URLs via social networks, smoother animation and scrolling on Mac OS X, and the ability to paste Android clipboard content into editable Web content.

You can now link your Hello account to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with Firefox Hello sharing. Those who click on the link will be able to begin a chat with you in Firefox Hello. Additionally, Project Silk brings better animation and scrolling to OS X, and Safe Browsing malware detection can now be downloaded for OS X and Linux.

To use the new sharing option, you’ll first have to add your social networks by visiting Services for Firefox, clicking on each service you want to add, and then hitting the Activate Now button.

  1. Click the Firefox Hello button to create a conversation.
  2. In the conversation window, click Share Link and choose a social network on the list.
  3. Log in to your social network if prompted and post the link.

Firefox 39 for the desktop is available for download now 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.

Mozilla doesn’t break out the exact numbers for Firefox, though the company does say “half a billion people around the world” use the browser. In other words, it’s a major platform that Web developers aim that too in a world which is dominated by mobile apps.

Mozilla introduced an experimental WebRTC feature in Firefox 33 Beta that let users make free voice and video calls without downloading additional software or plugins, nor create an account. The feature was further enhanced and launched as part of Firefox 34 (it’s now powered by the OpenTok real-time communications platform from TokBox, owned by Spanish carrier Telefonica). Mozilla calls Firefox Hello “the first global communications system built directly into a browser” and ensures users don’t need to hand over personal information to use it. Since WebRTC is compatible with Chrome and Opera browsers as well, you don’t even need the same software or hardware as the person you want to call.

In order to use the new sharing option, you’ll first have to add your social networks by visiting Services for Firefox, clicking on each service you want to add, and then hitting the Activate Now button. After that, you can share links like first click the Firefox Hello button to create a conversation, then in the conversation window, click Share Link and select a social network on the list and after that log in to your social network if prompted and post the link.

When someone clicks the shared link, they’ll see a window where they can “Join the conversation.” Your Firefox Hello button will turn blue when they join.

Next is Project Silk, which aims to provide smoother scrolling and animation, has arrived on OS X. You can check out the technical details on GitHub, including how Project Silk aligns hardware sync signals among input, content painting, and composition modules.

If you’re a Web developer, details about changelog are available for you at Trainspotting: Firefox 39 and Firefox 39 for developers.

Firefox 39 for Android isn’t a major release by any extend. One feature worth noting, however, is the ability to finally paste into “contentEditable elements.” While copy and paste works, you can’t yet cut text from contentEditable elements, but that’s in the mechanism as well.

Mozilla typically releases new Firefox versions every six weeks, and we thus expect Firefox 40 to arrive by mid-August.

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