Firefox 15 edges closer to Chrome with silent updating, memory fixes, & more

Image Credit: Via Studio Jon Garza

Firefox 15, the latest browser from Mozilla, is available now and comes with many new features including “silent” updating just like Google Chrome.

Mozilla has struggled to keep Firefox on the same page as Chrome, one reason why Chrome has seemingly become the go-to web browser after the default Internet Explorer. Worldwide, Chrome is in a dead-heat with Internet Explorer for the top spot while Firefox holds steady in third place. So it only makes sense for Firefox to emulate Chrome.

Firefox 15′s biggest new feature is Chrome-like “silent” updating. This means Firefox downloads updates in the background and automatically applies them when you close and reopen your browser. Your browser remains up-to-date with the latest features, and it gets rid of that annoying “Firefox Update” popup.

One other important feature in 15 is a fix to “add-on” memory leaking. People have complained about Firefox eating all their open memory (it’s happened to me too) and the only way to deal with it was to restart Firefox. This was caused mostly by add-ons, but now the problem has been fixed.

Here’s a full list of Firefox’s 15 release updates:

NEW — Silent, background updates
NEW — Support for SPDY networking protocol v3
NEW — WebGL enhancements, including compressed textures for better performance
CHANGED — Optimized memory usage for add-ons
DEVELOPER — JavaScript debugger integrated into developer tools
DEVELOPER — New layout view added to Inspector
DEVELOPER — High precision event timer implemented
DEVELOPER — The CSS word-break property has been implemented.
DEVELOPER –New responsive design tool allows web developers to switch between desktop and mobile views of sites
HTML5 — Native support for the Opus audio codec added
HTML5 — The and elements now support the played attribute
HTML5 — The element now supports the media attribute
FIXED — Focus rings keep growing when repeatedly tabbing through elements (720987)

Let us know in the comments what you think of Firefox 15.

Firefox image via Studio Jon Garza

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