Mozilla hits top gear: Firefox 5 follows 4 by just 3 months

It seems like just yesterday when we were writing about the release of Firefox 4 and how long that version had dwelled in the development doldrums during which time we saw the rapid ascendancy of Google’s Chrome (in terms of both popularity and version updates).

But lo and behold Mozilla released Firefox 5 overnight and while FF4 took nearly three years to see the light of day (following on from the release of FF3 in June 2008) Firefox 5 hasn’t even taken three whole months to emerge (in fact it’s officially just one day short). What gives?

The answer lies in Mozilla’s new three-month-turnaround rapid-release schedule which was first announced back in April alongside a revamp of its beta channels scheme together devised with the brief to “deliver new releases of Firefox faster and give users more opportunities to participate in building Firefox.”

Well the ploy seems to be paying off as Firefox 5 is out now (and was actually even ahead of schedule) and looks set to capitalise on the 200-million-downloads-strong success of its predecessor bringing with it more than 1000 new tweaks. 

Some of the top new features in FF5 include: support for CSS animations; the Do Not Track privacy feature has been made easier to access; better open standards support (including HTML5 among others); background tabs hog resources less; plus generally improved stability and security features.

In short it’s not a major update the way FF4 was (something to bear in mind in light of the new ongoing release frequency) but if you’re a Firefox user or even if you’re not it’s probably worthy of your download.

In addition to the desktop version for PC Mac and Linux Mozilla has also released FF5 for Android which boasts Do Not Track and improved page load times (a long-held bugbear of users of the Android version).

Firefox 5 is available now from here.