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Mozilla polishes Firefox on desktop & mobile with new releases

Mozilla has released a duo of updates for its desktop and Android Web browser with a number of new features and enhancements.

On the mobile side, the latest version of Firefox for Android includes support for tablets, including a new design that makes browsing the Web faster and easier.

"The same dramatic improvements that made Firefox for your Android phone super fast are now available for tablets," Mozilla said in a blog post. "You'll notice everything is quicker, from startup and page load times to panning and zooming and Web app performance."

The update brings a personalised start page and a new "Awesome Screen" showing all of your browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, and form data. Other enhancements include Flash support for Honeycomb tablet devices, the ability to sync your settings with other devices on which you use Firefox, and new HTML5 capabilities for developers.

Meanwhile, on the desktop side, Firefox 15 significantly reduces memory usage when browsing with add-ons and during long browsing sessions. This makes the browser speedier, smoother, and more responsive.

Plus, the update includes new platform additions that let developers build more advanced in-browser games. Developers will find a new built-in JavaScript Debugger, which provides more insight into Web application code and can be used to remotely debug apps running on Firefox for Android.

The latest desktop version also makes animations smoother thanks to an improved JavaScript engine and WebGL support enhancements. Alongside the updates, Mozilla released a playable demo game called BananaBread to demonstrate the browser's new gaming enhancements.

As noted by ExtremeTech, Firefox 15 improves the browser's Chrome-esque silent updates. The feature was added to Firefox 12, but pop-ups were still a problem. "With Firefox 15, the browser now downloads and applies updates in the background, and then switches to the new version the next time you open the browser — just like Google Chrome," ET said.

The latest version of Firefox for Android is available for download in the Google Play store. The desktop update is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.