After series of delays, Firefox for Windows 8 Touch beta is now here. The browser is fully optimized for Windows 8, that is it uses Live tiles and makes use of Windows 8's Modern UI. Originally announced in 2012, the "Metro" mode of the version took a long while but it has finally come out of the nightly Alpha builds.
Firefox 28 Beta finally bundles all the necessary modules, including features like pinch-to-zoom and page navigation with swipes. The new version also sports a tile-based start screen with one-tap access to Bookmarks, History and Top Sites. With this launch, Windows 8 and 8.1 users can finally have a browser other than Internet Explorer that actually supports the Modern UI.
Here are some cool features you will find in the app:
- Support for Touch and Swipe gestures such as ‘pinch to zoom’ and one-touch swipe transitions.
- Full, Snapped and Fill views: An option that lets you decide whether the browser should be viewed in full-screen mode or take a part of the screen.
- Visual Navigation: In addition to tapping through tiles to visit a site, it also auto-completes the URL to enhance your browsing experience.
- Windows Share integration: You will be able to share a web-page, or selected text to any of your favored social network.
Overall, the design is simple and beautiful. The Beta is a bit laggy, but that is expected. You can take the beta version for a spin from the download link below. When you install the software, you will be prompted twice to set a default browser. Windows 8 will prompt you at the top right of the screen, so make sure you set Firefox as the default browser. Once you install Firefox, you will be prompted again to make the browser default. Make sure you set Firefox as the default in order to utilize the modern interface.
Expect a stable version next month. Give it a try and let us know in the comments below how you like it!