Firefox 3.6 knows which way your PC's facing

Firefox 3.6 will detect the orientation of your PC thanks to a new API for accelerometers

Stuart Turton
13 Oct 2009

Firefox 3.6 will include an API capable of detecting your computer's orientation, Mozilla has announced.

The API will allow the browser to utilise a computer's in-built accelerometer, allowing developers to create applications around the feature.

Early suggested examples include games such as Labyrinth, where you guide a ball through a maze by tilting the device, and a demonstration video showing a webpage automatically levelling out as a MacBook Air is tilted from side-to-side.

The API was originally created for Fennec, Mozilla's mobile browser, but with accelerometers increasingly finding their way into laptops including the MacBook Air and Lenovo ThinkPads, the foundation decided to build it into the next release of the desktop browser.

Firefox 3.6 is intended to be a fairly lightweight update to Firefox 3.5, which was hounded by delays due to the development of the TraceMonkey rendering engine.

However, the latest version of the browser already has some notable new additions, including a plugin checker that will ensure third-party plugins such as Flash are up-to-date.

The beta of Firefox 3.6 is expected this week.

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