This weekend Mozilla rolled out the final beta in the Firefox 4.0 development cycle, confirming via its Director of Platform Engineering, Damon Sicore, that a Firefox 4.0 RC (release candidate) is up next.
Released to the public late last week, Firefox 4.0 Beta 12 further addresses the browser’s performance, as well as its stability and compatibility with various elements.
Particularly, the new beta increases performance while viewing Flash content, and improves plugin compatibility when hardware acceleration is enabled.
Hovering over links now displays the URL at the bottom of the window rather than in the location bar, Mozilla informed last week.
Rounding up the list of changes in Beta 12 are general stability, performance, and compatibility improvements, Mozilla said.
As usual, the enhancements and fixes from previous Firefox betas have been incorporated in the most recent release.
As such, Firefox Beta 12 also adds hardware-accelerated rendering operations when using OpenGL on Mac OS X.
Also for Mac OS X, a Core Animation rendering model for plugins is included. “Plugins which also support this rendering model can now draw faster and more efficiently,” according to Mozilla.
The software company confirmed that this Firefox 4 Beta is considered to be stable and safe to use for daily web browsing.
As usual, the developer may change the features and certain content before the final product release, though not much.
Certain add-ons might also not work properly, as their respective developers haven’t had the time to test them against this Firefox Beta.
Those who rely on certain add-ons that might not perform as expected can install the Add-on Compatibility reporter and use it to work with its developer in addressing potential bugs.
Firefox 4.0 Beta 12 calls for Mac OS X 10.4 and later, a Macintosh computer with an Intel x86 or PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor, 128 MB of RAM (256 MB or greater is recommended) and roughly 200 MB of hard drive space.
Using the link below, Mac owners can grab the latest versions of Firefox for Mac OS X, including those in the 3.6 and 3.5 branches.
Download Mozilla Firefox for Mac OS X (Free)