With Firefox 11 safely in the stable channel and starting to make its way via the automated update channel as well, Mozilla is turning its attention to the other release channels. Firefox 12 has been graduated to beta from Aurora, bringing its set of new features to a wider audience.
Firefox 12 continues Mozilla's work on streamlining updates
. With a new version of the browser coming out every six weeks, even minor inconveniences can become tiring.
No more UAC nag screens
Case in point, the User Account Control prompts in Windows Vista and 7. The feature is designed to warn users about software that can make potentially dangerous changes to the operating system.
Of course, most Windows apps out there can potentially do dangerous things, but few do. Still, users who are unsure about why the prompt was shown will tend to click on No, leaving an older and less secure version of Firefox on their computers.
Firefox 12 routes around the problem by only showing the prompt the first time you install the browser. Each subsequent updates will not trigger a UAC prompt. Under the hood, Firefox installs a Windows service, like Google does, that takes care of the updates.
New media controls for HTML5 video and audio
There's stuff to like about Firefox even if you're not running Windows. There are new media controls for the built-in video and audio player. If you ran across a lot of HTML5 video, you'll see them in action. The new controls don't only look better, there are new buttons and features as well, including the ability to view video in full screen.
Improved dev tools
Finally, Mozilla continues to improve the developer tools in Firefox 12. Mozilla boasts about 85 improvements to the dev tools in this latest release so far. There's no big new feature, but the existing set of tools, the page inspector, the scratchpad, the style editor and so on have all gotten tweaks and enhancements.