Firefox brings in font inspector, WebRTC

New desktop beta also includes web notifications API

Mozilla has announced new betas for Firefox desktop that incorporate a number of cutting-edge features and technologies. First and foremost, WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is now enabled by default. Mozilla said this will “enable developers to easily integrate real-time communications, including voice and video calls and file sharing, across the web”.

WebRTC arrived in Firefox Nightly late last year, and it was subsequently utilised in cross-browser technology demos, such as the Firefox/Chrome web chat, Fresh Tilled Soil’s embed solution, and the Mozilla TowTruck online collaboration tool.

Additional Firefox updates from a development standpoint include CSS3 Flexbox being enabled by default, a Web Notifications API for creating simple notifications for web apps, and a built-in font inspector. Mozilla unveiled the last of those features in March, showcasing how it exposes different information about the @font-faces used on a page, such as the font’s name and family, location, code and how it looks.

Developers should also benefit from OdinMonkey, an asm.js optimisation module for Firefox’s JavaScript engine, which Mozilla claims “allows developers to deliver gaming performance that rivals native speeds without the need for plug-ins and enables developers to create visually compelling and fast gaming experiences on the web”. Mozilla has been making a play for online gaming over recent months, as shown by its report about Unreal's Firefox debut.

Further information about Firefox 22 beta and download links are available on the Mozilla website.