Web browser maker Mozilla released Firefox 6 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android this week. The new browser doesn’t feature any dramatic changes from version 5, but it’s a little faster, a little more refined, and offers hints of improvements to come.
Mozilla recently moved to a “rapid release” schedule for the Firefox web browser, which means that major version numbers don’t necessarily mean major changes. That’s pretty much the way Google Chrome works as well. Google’s browser has only been around for a few years and it’s already up to version 13, while Firefox which has been one of the most popular web browsers for ages just hit version 6 this week — and that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the rapid release schedule that kicked in after version 4.
The biggest changes in the Android version of Firefox include graphics that are optimized for tablets including font sizes and user interface elements, and better image scaling on devices with NEON-compatible processors for smoother zooming and less pixelation.
If you’re using a device with Google Android 2.3 you’ll also see a new Gingerbread theme which is designed to make the browser look a little more like the rest of your operating system elements. And Mozilla has optimized rendering of pages in languages that read from right to left including Arabic and Hebrew.
The new browser also features performance enhancements and memory management improvements and a number of bug fixes.
Firefox 6 for Android is available as a free download from the Android Market. Hopefully future versions will include further optimization for tablets including support for visible browser tabs and other features that make more sense on high resolution displays.