Mozilla officially announced the released of Firefox 24 for Desktop (Windows, Mac & Linux) and Android earlier today. Among the most awaited and notable updates include the ability to mass “close tabs to the right” for the Desktop version and WebRTC support & NFC sharing for the Android version.

If you’re not familiar with WebRTC, it is a new HTML5 API that enables real-time communication within the browser such as video chat, video calling, P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing without the use of plugins or addons. This feature was already available in Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux since June and has now made its way to the Android version.

Unlike the previous release, the Desktop version of Firefox 24 isn’t much of an upgrade. Aside from the “close tabs to the right” feature, the only changes users will notice are new scrollbar styles for Mac and the ability to tear-off chat windows by dragging them out.

Here are some of the new, updated and fixed features that are included in the Desktop version of Firefox 24:

  • NEW: Support for new scrollbar style in Mac OS X 10.7 and newer.
  • NEW: Implemented Close tabs to the right.
  • NEW: Social: Ability to tear-off chat windows to view separately by simply dragging them out.
  • CHANGED: Accessibility related improvements on using pinned tabs.
  • CHANGED: Removed support for Revocation Lists feature.
  • CHANGED: Performance improvements on New Tab Page loads.
  • DEVELOPER: Major SVG rendering improvements around Image tiling and scaling.
  • DEVELOPER: Improved and unified Browser console for enhanced debugging experience, replacing existing Error console.
  • DEVELOPER: Removed support for sherlock files that are loaded from application or profile directory.
  • FIXED: Replace fixed-ratio audio resampler in capture code with Speex resampler and eliminate pseudo-44000Hz rate.
  • FIXED: 24.0: Security fixes can be found here.

In Reader mode on Firefox for Android, users can switch fonts between serif and sans serif as well as automatically switch to “dark mode” (dark text on a light background) or “light mode” (light text on a dark background).

firefox 24 android

When using Reader, users also have the option to add articles to their Reading list and save it offline, allowing them to read it later when they’re no longer busy or for when they’ll be in areas where there is no WiFi or Internet access available.

Aside from that, Firefox for Android also allows users to easily share their favorite websites, articles and other web links with family and friends through the quickshare feature. On any website, just tap on the Menu icon, tap on Share and select how you want to share the link. Firefox for Android automatically adds your favorite sharing service and social networks to the Menu.

These are the new, updated and fixed features included in the Android version:

  • NEW: Enabled support for WebRTC.
  • NEW: Ability to share open tabs between NFC-enabled phones.
  • NEW: Easy access to your favourite share application from main menu. Read more in the blog post.
  • NEW: Added support for Braille, Popup announcements, Door hangers retain focus and a lot more for TalkBack users.
  • NEW: Better night reading experience with Night mode functionality in Reader.
  • NEW: Added Swedish, British and Catalan to Android multi-locale builds.
  • DEVELOPER: Removed support for sherlock files that are loaded from application or profile directory.
  • CHANGED: Baidu is now the default search engine for the Chinese locale.
  • FIXED: Can’t write accented characters on HTC devices.
  • FIXED: 24.0: Security fixes can be found here.

I’ve upgraded my desktop and Android installations to Firefox 24. The main web browser on my desktop is Firefox and I use it a lot because of the addons/extensions I use for work like FireFTP, MeasureIt, ColorZilla, Firebug, etc. But on my Android phone, I only use it once in a while so I’m not really gonna take advantage of the new features.

Anyone else upgraded to Firefox 24? Which version do you use most of the time – Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux or Firefox for Android? Which new features do you like the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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