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Firefox adds a 'Narrate' mode to take your eyes off the screen

Plus some new offline browsing features for Android users.
Photo by AOP.Press/Corbis via Getty Images

Mozilla's latest Firefox adds a couple new and refined features intended to improve the time you spend reading online. While Firefox released an ad-stripping, layout-simplifying Reader Mode way back in 2012, the newest release brings a new "Narrate" feature and additional tweaks for a better reading (or listening) experience.

Mozilla might be a little late to the game compared to Apple's robotic VoiceOver, but Firefox's new text-to-speech feature helpfully narrates articles so you can step away from the screen or swap to another tab and listen at your leisure. Reader mode is also getting some additional customization options that allow users to tweak the text, font size or reader voice, as well as new light and dark themes for daylight or nighttime reading that's easier on the eyes.

If you're on an Android device, Firefox now helpfully stores some previously viewed pages and data so you can interact with pages you've already visited, even if you hop on a plane or your data connection drops out. Finally, the latest update also brings better multiprocess support, which should translate to a much more responsive and much less crash-y web experience. Mozilla says it has improved overall responsiveness by a whopping 400% for users who forego browser add-ons, and the plan is to add support for compatible add-ons by 2017. At that point, Firefox will also flip the switch on Flash, which should do wonders for browser responsiveness.

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