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Latest Firefox 3.1 Beta Adds Multi-Touch Support

On Monday, Mozilla released the latest beta version of Firefox 3.1. This "Beta 2" version of the popular web browser adds a number of new features across all supported platforms including:

- Private Browsing Mode
- Faster JavaScript engine
- Improved rendering
- Support for new web technologies.

But one feature unique to the Mac build is support for Apple's multi-touch trackpad which has been shipping in notebooks since January of this year. While Apple's Safari supports multi-touch gestures for common web browsing tasks (back, forward, resize text), support had been absent from Firefox. Experimental Firefox support for the multi-touch trackpad was first introduced in a pre-Beta build back in October by Mozilla's Edward Lee. The changes have since made it into the official Beta 2 released on Monday and is expected to be released with the final 3.1 version of Firefox.

Supported gestures are even more robust than Safari's support and include ("Swipe" refers to 3-finger Swipe):

- Swipe Left: Go back in history (hold Cmd to open it in a tab)
- Swipe Right: Go forward in history
- Swipe Up: Go to the top of the page
- Swipe Down: Go to the end of the page
- Pinch Together: Zoom out
- Pinch Apart: Zoom in
- Twist Right: Next tab
- Twist Left: Previous tab

Mozilla warns that the beta version of Firefox is intended for testing use only. There's no known release date for the final release of Firefox 3.1.

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