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Mozilla releases Firefox 18 Beta featuring Retina support

Mozilla has released a beta version of Firefox 18 that promises speed improvements, support for Retina display screens, and more.

The updated browser now supports Apple's Retina display for Mac users "to make Firefox even sharper when watching movies, playing games and browsing the Web," Mozilla said in a blog post.

Apple's Retina display debuted on the iPhone 4S, and also features on the iPhone 5 , the fourth-generation iPad, and the Retina-enhanced 13in MacBook Pros.

Firefox 18 Beta will also allow users to disable insecure content on encrypted websites "to maintain the privacy of your communication with the website," Mozilla said. With Firefox 14, released in July, Mozilla started automatically encrypting searches conducted via Google's search engine in the browser's location bar, search box, or the right-click menu.

For those with touch-supported devices, Firefox 18 beta joins Internet Explorer 10 in adding support for W3C touch events. That means that websites that respond to touch, tracking your movements as you glide your finger across the screen, for example, will work in Firefox 18.

The touch effects indeed work, as shown by's Touch Effects demo. Still not working in Chrome, this feature will be important for web apps such as games, which can take advantage of touch screens on tablets and all-in-one PCs.

Finally, Firefox 18 beta includes IonMonkey, a new JavaScript JIT compiler.

"With IonMonkey, Firefox will perform faster with Web apps, games and other JavaScript-heavy pages," Mozilla said.