Firefox 3.0 beta 4 now out
Mozilla today announced the release of Firefox 3.0 beta 4 for testers and other Firefox fans. Among the improvements in this release are better download management, speed enhancements and much better integration with Vista, Linux and Max OS X. Memory improvements are also inluded in the beta 4 release. New features are listed after the jump.
The downside of using Firefox 3.0 betas is that most of your favourite extensions are unlikely to work with this release yet (LifeHacker suggests this risk-prone workaround to get them working)
Some of the highlights of Firefox 3.0 beta 4 include:
- The revised download manager makes it much easier to locate downloaded files, and you can see and search on the name of the website where a file came from. Your active downloads and time remaining are always shown in the status bar as your files download.
- Full page zoom means that from the View menu and via keyboard shortcuts, the new zooming feature lets you zoom in and out of entire pages, scaling the layout, text and images, or optionally only the text size. Your settings will be remembered whenever you return to the site.
- Firefox now integrates better with Vista through Vista-specific icons and native user interface widgets in the browser and in web forms.
- Mac OS X integration is also improved and the new Firefox theme makes toolbars, icons, and other user interface elements look like a native OS X application. Firefox also uses OS X widgets and spell-checker in web forms and supports Growl for notifications of completed downloads and available updates. A combined back and forward control make it even easier to move between web pages.
- In Linux Firefox’s default icons, buttons, and menu styles now use the native GTK theme.
- Location bar & auto-complete: type in all or part of the title, tag or address of a page to see a list of matches from your history and bookmarks; a new display makes it easier to scan through the matching results and find that page you’re looking for. Results are returned according to their frecency (a combination of frequency and recency of visits to that page) ensuring that you’re seeing the most relevant matches. An adaptive learning algorithm further tunes the results to your patterns.
- Memory usage has been greatly improved. Several new technologies work together to reduce the amount of memory used by Firefox 3 Beta 4 over a web browsing session. Memory cycles are broken and collected by an automated cycle collector, a new memory allocator reduces fragmentation, hundreds of leaks have been fixed, and caching strategies have been tuned.