Firefox 20 has better private browsing, new download manager


— 6:00 AM on April 3, 2013

Attention Firefox users: version 20 of the browser is out. The Mozilla Blog has the goods on what's new in the latest release, including enhanced private browsing for both desktop and mobile versions. On the desktop, private browsing windows can now be launched "without closing or changing your current browsing session." The Android version has gained the ability to open private browsing tabs within a current session.

Desktop users can also look forward to a new Download Manager that's integrated right into the Firefox toolbar—no more separate window. The video below shows exactly how it works.

That appears to be it for big changes on the desktop, although the release notes mention the "ability to close hanging plugins, without the browser hanging." That sounds like a feature Firefox users probably want.

The Android release has a few extra features, including custom shortcuts for the home screen and support for older devices running ARMv6-based processors. According to the mobile release notes, hardware-based H.264, AAC, and MP3 decoding is now supported on Gingerbread and Honeycomb variants of Android, as well.

Folks running older versions of the browser should be able to update automatically by going into the About Firefox section of the Help menu. You can also directly download the desktop versions of the browser for Windows, OS X, and Linux right here. Android users can grab Firefox from the Google Play store.

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