Mozilla Firefox Windows 8 Touch Beta now available for download and testing

7 February 2014, 10:06 am EST By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Mozilla has officially released its Firefox for Windows 8 Touch in beta, bringing a touch-friendly browser user interface (UI) for Microsoft's OS.

The company had first released Firefox for Windows 8 Touch into its Nightly channel back in February 2013, but now the beta is available to download and test if you'd like to be one of the early adopters.

"Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta is ready for download and testing. This touch-friendly, tile-based Firefox is optimized for Microsoft's Windows 8 Modern UI and designed to ensure users get the best Firefox browsing experience possible on their Windows 8 tablets, touch-screen laptops and other compatible devices," Mozilla announced in a new blog post on Friday, Feb. 7.

As the name itself suggests, the Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta is designed to work with the Modern UI Microsoft implemented with its Windows 8 OS. Firefox' beta touch-friendly browser UI sports a new tile-based start screen along the lines of Windows 8, as well as easy one-tap access to Top Sites, Bookmarks, and History.

Users will also be able to continue using the Firefox Awesome bar, which means that the search/navigation bar will autocomplete based on their history, previous search data, and bookmarks.

The new Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta also includes several touch-based gesture features, including pinch-to-zoom and one-touch swipe transitions. Other key features Mozilla listed include:

  • Full, Snapped, and Fill views - These three options will enable users to choose whether they want to view an app full-screen, "snapped" to a narrow region of the screen (usually like a sidebar to the left of the display), or have the app "fill" whatever remaining screen area you have unoccupied by an app in the "snapped" state.
  • Visual Navigation - This feature refers to the aforementioned tiles on the start screen, which are easy to recognize and tap and aim to "make browsing a more visually-rich experience." Mozilla further adds that this tile-based interface will allow for quick and easy searching and will simplify auto-complete.
  • Windows Store integration - With this neat feature, users will be able to share a web page or just some selected content from a web page to any of their installed social networks.

As always with Beta releases, keep in mind that there may still be some bugs and glitches in the software, as it is not the final version. If you'd like to become one of the early adopters and test out the new touch-friendly browser, you can download the Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta at this link.

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