Mozilla has unveiled the latest version of Firefox 38.0 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for Android 38.0 due to follow imminently. The desktop build contains one new feature of note: a switch to a tabbed-based preferences.
Meanwhile the Firefox for Android unveils improved user interfaces throughout the app as well as reading list and tab-sharing options.
Firefox 38 FINAL for desktop’s new user preferences UI means users can tweak their preferences via a browser tab – which they can permanently pin for easy access – rather than having to open a separate dialog. The advantage of this new approach is that users can easily switch between browsing and tweaking preferences without first having to close a dialog box.
Once opened, users will find the window split in two, with a left-hand column containing the same section headers as found in the original preferences window. Users can access the dialog by typing about:preferences into the Address Bar as well as via the main program menu.
The Android build gains a number of improved user interfaces, including a new welcome screen, Reader View controls, an “Add to Firefox” option that appears outside the app and – on the tablet version – a new layout for the “Synced Tabs” panel.
It also shows off a new “Add to Reading List” button on the overflow menu, which allows users to quickly add websites to their Reading List. This is joined by a “Send to device” option, accessible from the Share menu. This allows them to transfer the contents of one tab to another connected device.
Elsewhere, both desktop and Android builds add support for Ruby annotation, a tool widely used by Japanese and other East Asian users. Changes include improved page loading times through “speculative connection warmup” and various HTML5 improvements and developer-related tweaks. Version 38 will also become the base version for Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) shortly. This is a special release that Mozilla uses to target organisations and individuals who don’t want the rapid feature updates found in the main release; instead key updates like security fixes are the only ones applied.