Mozilla upgrades Firefox for iOS to version 8.0, adds QR code reader and night-reading mode

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Mozilla has upgraded Firefox for iOS to version 8.0, with the latest edition of the mobile web browser altering the way it handles tabs, as well as introducing new features including a built-in QR code scanner and a Night Mode that makes Firefox more useful for late night browsing.

The new tab experience in Firefox version 8.0 makes it easier for users to see sites they have previously visited, with the opening of a new tab bringing up a list of recently viewed sites, as well as highlights from earlier browsing sessions. Unlike the other additions to the app, Mozilla advises the changes to tabs will be gradually rolled out to users over the next few weeks, instead of being immediately available to use.

Night Mode is meant for browsing while in a low-light environment, with it dimming the brightness of the screen to minimize eye strain and to make the web pages easier to read in the dark. The Night Model can be activated or turned off by tapping the moon symbol in the lower menu tray.

Billed by Mozilla as a way to reduce the number of apps installed on an iPhone, a QR Code Reader is built into Firefox, so users do not need to access a separate app if they wish to scan the two-dimentional barcodes.

To try and improve the user experience, Firefox will now provide recommendations on using various features of the browser, along with other time-saving hints. Mozilla is initially limiting this feature to users in the United States and Germany, but it is highly likely to spread to other countries in the future.

Lastly, it is now possible for users to automatically send web pages and tabs from iOS to other installations of the browser on mobile devices and desktops, using Firefox's synchronization functions.

Firefox is a free download in the App Store that requires 102 megabytes of storage and iOS 9.0 to run, and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.