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Firefox 15 brings new features, security fixes

Mozilla has released Firefox 15, the latest version of the open source browser, with a variety of new features, tweaks, and security fixes.

New features of Firefox 15 include silent background updates, support for SPDY version 3 (a Google-backed protocol intended to reduce page load times), and enhancements to WebGL support.

HTML5 support continues to improve, with native support for the Opus audio codec, support for the 'played' attribute of <audiop> and <video> elements, and support for the 'media' attribute of the <source> element.

Given that one of the popular features of Firefox is the large number of add-ons, users are likely to benefit from the way version 15 optimises memory usage by add-ons.

Additional new features can be found in the mobile (Android) version of Firefox 15.

They include a native UI for tablets (which also delivers faster startup), search improvements, import of bookmarks and history from the standard Android browser, and implementation of the find in page feature.

Other changes include the ability to delete specific types of private data.

Bug fixes for the mobile version cover areas including text selection in web content, copy and paste, and forms.

Firefox 15 also delivers 16 security fixes, seven of them regarded as critical.

That's the greatest number of security fixes in one version since Firefox switched to the rapid release model.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.