Firefox betas pull the shades per-tab on 'porn mode'

The latest versions of Firefox Beta and Firefox Beta for Android come with the ability to browse privately on a per-window and per-tab basis, among other improvements.

Desktops get a new Download Manager in Firefox 20 Beta. Mozilla

Private browsing, or 'porn mode' for people with more prurient Web browsing requirements, will soon be available in Firefox on a per-window basis for desktops and a per-tab basis on Android.

The latest versions of Firefox 20 Beta (download for Windows, Mac, and Linux) and Firefox 20 Beta for Android (download) have been updated to allow people to have a more streamlined private browsing experience. Private browsing disables built-in browser recording, including history and cookies.

This is a pretty big change for Private Browsing aficionados, since previously in Firefox switching to Private Browsing would save all your tabs, close the window, and open a new Private Browsing window without any previously-running tabs. The new behavior allows Private Browsing windows to run side-by-side with non-Private windows. In Firefox for Android, Private tabs will run alongside non-Private tabs since "windows" are not an option.

Mozilla continues to crack down on unexpected or unauthorized alterations to the browser. In this beta, Firefox will offer to reset the location bar search provider to the default if it has been changed by a third-party such as an add-on provider.

Other improvements to Firefox Beta for desktops include a new Download Manager that moves the feature to the browser's toolbar from its traditional management pane in a new window, and a plug-in warning that lets you know when a plug-in has been frozen for more than 45 seconds. It gives you the option of restarting the plug-in, instead of the entire browser.

Under the hood, the new Firefox Beta for desktops now supports getUserMedia for recording from your mic or webcam in the browser; CSS FlexBox, for having site content automatically resize depending on screen dimensions; the Developer Toolbox, for quickly accessing developer tools; and Canvas Blend Modes for improved visual effects.

In addition to the Private Browsing changes, Firefox 20 Beta for Android comes with the ability to customize your Home screen shortcuts, and system requirements for Firefox for Android have been lowered again. The browser will now work on Android devices with 384MB of RAM and QVGA displays, including but not limited to the Samsung Galaxy Next, HTC Aria, HTC Legend, Samsung Dart, Samsung Galaxy Pop, and the Samsung Galaxy Q.

A full list of changes are available for Firefox 20 Beta for desktops and Firefox 20 Beta for Android.

Updated on at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1, to clarify per-window Private Browsing on Firefox for desktops.

 

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