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Firefox 12 is now in the wild, which means it’s time for a new beta. Firefox 13 beta is available for download now and adds a few new features that fans should enjoy.

Mozilla has finally jumped on the speed dial bandwagon by redesigning the “New Tab” and “Home Page” areas to look more like the tile-based “speed dial Give Google Chrome's New Tab Page a Makeover with SpeedDial Give Google Chrome's New Tab Page a Makeover with SpeedDial Read More ” layouts found in Opera and Chrome. The new “New Tab” page lets users visit their most frequently used pages quickly, and users can pin sites to the “New Tab” page if they’d like. The “Home Page”, meanwhile, allows access to add-on management, downloads and various browser functions.

Another new feature likely to be welcomed by users is “tabs on demand”. Like most browsers, Firefox allows users to resume tabs open in a previous session. This can become a problem for people who browse with numerous tabs, however, because re-loading them all at once can take time. The tabs on demand feature only reloads the currently selected tab – the other tabs are loaded as they’re opened.

Finally, on a more technical note, Firefox 13 will be adding support for SPDY. This is a new-ish web protocol that can improve performance and security (by encrypting all web traffic). There’s also some under-the-hood changes and bug fixes, of course.

You can download Firefox 13 from Mozilla’s website.

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Source: Ars Technica

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