If everything goes as planned, Mozilla will release an update for Firefox 14.0.1 that will bring the version of the Internet browser to 15.0. The stable version of the browser won't be the only version that will receive an update in the coming days. Firefox's extended released support version will be updated tomorrow as well, followed by updates for Firefox Beta on August 30, and Firefox Aurora on August 31 (you can check out the regularly updated Mozilla Firefox Release Schedule to find out about future Firefox releases).
For a general overview of what is new and hot in Firefox 15, check out our initial coverage from June of this year which looked at the version when the Firefox Aurora version was upgraded to it.
When you look at the beta changelog you will notice the following changes in Firefox 15. The most important changes for users are listed at the beginning:
- Optimized memory usage for add-ons
- Preliminary native PDF support
- Support for SPDY networking protocol v3
- WebGL enhancements, including compressed textures for better performance
Developers benefit from the following new technologies and features
- New layout view added to Inspector
- The CSS word-break property has been implemented.
- High precision event timer implemented
- New responsive design tool allows web developers to switch between desktop and mobile views of sites
- Native support for the Opus audio codec added
- The <source /> element now supports the media attribute
- The <audio> and <video> elements now support the played attribute
Firefox users who install add-ons may benefit from the memory optimization technologies that Mozilla added to Firefox 15. This basically does away with a certain type of memory leaking by add-ons so that you may notice a reduced memory usage, or at least no increase of memory usage during a session anymore.
The changelog does not mention several other features that have been included in Firefox 15. Background updates are for instance one of the features not mentioned in the changelog. The change affects the speed in which updates are installed. Instead of applying the update on the next start of the browser, it is not applied to a copy of the program, so that the files only need to be copied over to the Firefox program directory on start which speeds up the time it takes to update during start of Firefox significantly.
If you are using the browser's search form you may also notice that search has become faster thanks to connection improvements. You can read up on that technology here on this blog post. Additional performance related improvements include the comportment-per-global change, and caching improvements where items are simultaneously verified and loaded.
As far as downloads of Firefox 15 go: the official Mozilla ftp server and worldwide mirrors are already hosting Firefox 15. You can alternatively download the new release from third party download sites, or wait until tomorrow for the final release. Since there is always the chance of last minute changes, I'd suggest you wait until the release is made official by Mozilla.