Review: Mozilla Firefox 22

Version 22 enables WebRTC by default, and OdinMonkey is now officially stable.

Developers are still heading full-speed toward the modern holy grail of development on the Web--reaching native app-level speeds and performance. Chrome and Firefox have gone two drastically different directions; whereas Google's very NaCl approach utilizes standardized C-code within a specially secure sandboxed environment, Mozilla opts to continue optimizing an existing, leaner subset of Javascript under some of its own specific restricted functions. The Mozilla dev team believes that focusing on combination of ASM.JS and Mozilla's very own Emscripten compiler will encourage easier Web development, due to wider familiarity among developers, as well as the lack of need for additional plug-ins.

So what does that mean for you as a Firefox user and the release of version 22? Version 22 may not bring a significantly visible change to the browser's already excellent performance, but it does bring a sign of shifting waves to come. To developers, it presents exciting new prospects of bringing higher-quality apps to the Web, and reducing dependence on glue codes and extraneous plug-ins. Many of the ASM.JS optimizations (OdinMonkey) from their previous nightly builds have graduated into stable release, forecasting more seamless, faster experiences on what traditionally exists outside of our desktop and mobile browsers.

The second major milestone that comes with Firefox 22 is that developers now have access to enabling WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) within their Web apps. WebRTC basically enables video calls within the browser and without the need for extra plug-ins to install. Earlier, Firefox released a friendly video demo with a representative from the Google Chrome media team.

Last version, Mozilla released improvements to its social API by expanding support to additional social networks like MSN Now, Facebook, and more. WebRTC helps position Firefox as an even more attractive platform for greater social interaction, especially now, in particular, with its enabling of sharing images, links, and video chatting.

Grab the latest version via the Download link, or (if you're already a current user) by opening Firefox and letting its channel updater do its thing.

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