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Firefox 55 Adds Web-Based VR App Support Through WebVR

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Firefox 55 hopes to spread reach and aid cross-platform development of VR, alongside new features and improvements

Firefox has added support for native virtual reality (VR) applications in a move it is hoped will promote the widespread adoption of the technology and foster cross-platform development. 

The latest version of the open source browser, Firefox 55, can now run web-based VR apps using the WebVR platform.  

When a compatible app appears on screen, users simply click a VR Goggles icon to launch it and use it on their headset, including on HTC Vive and Oculus. Both have voiced their support for WebVR, while Mozilla has created a development tool called ‘A-Frame’. 

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Firefox WebVR 

Elsewhere, Mozilla has given users more power over the multi-process architecture introduced in Firefox 54. This feature splits taps into different processes, speeding up multi-tab browsing. In Firefox 55, users can edit how much of the system’s resources are allocated. 

“If your computer has lots of RAM (e.g., more than 8GB), you might want to try bumping up the number of content processes that Firefox uses from its default four,” said Firefox.

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“This can make Firefox even faster, although it will use more memory than it does with four processes. But, in our tests on Windows 10, Firefox uses less memory than Chrome, even with eight content processes running.” 

The 64-bit edition of Firefox is now more stable, while multiple search engines  nd social networks can be accessed from the search bar. The browser’s sidebar can now appear on the right edge of the window as well as the left, too. 

In terms of usability, all Flash content must be clicked to play, now that the platform has an end of life date, and it is simpler to print pages from the ‘print screen’ page. 

 Quiz: Are you a Firefox enthusiast?