Firefox Adds Multitouch Gestures for Macs

The latest beta version of Mozilla's Firefox browser brings built-in support for the multi-touch trackpads on modern Mac notebooks. Back in October, Mozilla's Eddie Lee produced an experimental version of Firefox which allowed Mac users to control the browser with multi-fingered gestures (no, not that kind). In v3.2 Beta 2, those gestures have been made official.

I gave it a try, and the gestures are even better than those in Apple's own browser, Safari. Here's the list of what you can do, provided by MacRumors. 'Swipe' means a three fingered sweep:

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

On my old (multibody?) MacBook Pro, the gestures are all supported. The 'pinch-to-zoom' differs from Safari's in that it will keep zooming as you move your fingers -- in Safari, each pinch motion only gives one level of zoom meaning you need to repeat the gesture to zoom more than one level.

The twist-to-switch-tabs gesture works a lot better than you'd think, including wrap-around so that once you get to the last tab, another clockwise tweak brings you to the first tab.

All in all, its very useful. It means that you can control almost every aspect of browsing with just one hand. Combined with the new 'Private Browsing' mode, this makes Firefox the go-to browser for XXX browsing.

Product page [Mozilla via MacRumors]

Original photo: Armangi/Flickr

(Via Wired: Gadget Lab.)