TG Daily reports Mozilla has added support for the Apple multi-touch pads to Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, but apparently the browser maker had to do reverse-engineer it from other Apple applications because Apple isn't really helpful in providing the necessary APIs to developers.
The advanced multitouch capabilities included in the final candidate build of Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 released one week ago did not show up on our radar initially. Curiously enough, Mozilla did not advertise these features either - probably with a good reason since the company had to reverse-engineer Apple's multitouch technology to replicate it in Firefox, according to blogger Edward Lee. Although the new multitouch gestures are available only in the OS X version of Firefox, some Firefox Mac fans may have noticed that support for basic multitouch gestures were included already in October Firefox builds.
Initial gestures introduced back then replicated gestures found in the OS X version of Safari, like pinch zoom and multi-finger scrolling. Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 expands the initial set of gestures with additions that are not included in Safari, like a three-finger swipe and a unique twist gesture that lets users navigate through open tabs simply by rotating two fingers on a trackpad. Here is the complete list of gestures that are supported by Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 for OS X:
- Swipe left or right - move backward and forward through the browsing history (hold the Command key to open it in a tab)
- Swipe up or down - move to the page top or bottom
- Twist left or right - cycle through open tabs
- Pinch in or out - increase or decrease the font size