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Firefox aims at desktop gamers & tablets

Mozilla has announced updates to its desktop and Android browsers.

Firefox 15 for desktop brings a speed boost by reducing memory usage when browsing with add-ons, and has features designed to appeal to game developers. The company cited support for compressed textures, enabling developers to “take full advantage of video memory to build graphics-heavy games without losing performance”, and the smoothness of animations is further boosted by an improved JavaScript engine and enhancements to WebGL. An online demo showcases some of the improvements.

Elsewhere, the new JavaScript debugger, which Mozilla said was “a fast, built-in tool to give greater insight into web application code”, should be of use to all developers, and it also provides the means to remotely debug apps running on Firefox for Android.

Of the Android release, Mozilla said it’s brought to tablets many of the “dramatic improvements that made Firefox for your Android phone super fast”, including quicker startup, page loads, zooming, panning and general web app performance. Further enhancements include a revamped personalised start page, a new ‘Awesome Screen’ that provides browsing history, bookmarks, passwords and form data, the ability to request the desktop version of a site from the browser menu, and “increased security with features like Do Not Track, Master Password, HTTP Strict Transport Security and more”.

Importantly, given Mozilla’s enthusiasm for web apps and stores to house them, the new Android release also boasts improved HTML5 capabilities, and the company suggests checking out the BrowserQuest demo “to see just how powerful, fast and fun the Web can be”.

Firefox 15 for desktop is available now from Mozilla and the Android release is on Google play.