Firefox 44 hits stable channel with support for push notifications

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Firefox 44, the latest release channel build of Mozilla’s web browser, is now available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Notably, Firefox 44 lets users receive push notifications from websites so long as permission is granted (opt-in).

Mozilla says the push notification feature is similar to web notifications with the exception that you can now receive notifications from websites even when they aren’t open. As you can imagine, this could be incredibly useful for things like e-mail, weather, social networking and shopping – you know, sites and services that you’d otherwise manually check for updates. Push notifications can be managed in the Control Center.

It’s worth noting that Mozilla is simply playing catch-up at this point as it relates to push notifications. Google first introduced push notifications in Chrome nearly three years ago with Apple’s Safari following suite a few months later.

Elsewhere, Firefox 44 enables H.264 video playback (so long as you have a native decoder), improves warning pages for certificate errors and untrusted connections and enables WebM/VP9 video support on systems that don’t support MP4/H.264. The fullchange log can be viewed on Mozilla’s website.

Apple plans Siri for Mac as tentpole feature for this fall’s OS X 10.12 launch

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Apple has reportedly been testing Siri for Mac since at least 2012, but even though the digital assistant has already made its way from the iPhone to the Apple Watch and Apple TV, it’s been notably absent from OS X. According to 9to5Mac’S Mark Gurman, that will change this year when the company launches OS X 10.2 in the Fall.

Gurman says Siri for Mac almost ready to go and will be announced as a “tentpole” feature for the next major update to OS X, which is expected to be previewed in June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

The digital assistant will reportedly be summoned in a handful of ways: through a Siri icon in the top right corner of the Mac’s menu bar, using a keyboard shortcut, or with the “hey Siri” voice prompt when your computer is plugged into a power outlet. Of course if you’re down with the idea of another device “always listening” to you in your home there will be an option to disable the feature.

Beyond Siri 9to5Mac reports OS X will receive minor user-interface tweaks across core system application windows, along with performance-focused improvement. If the company stick to its usual release schedule we can expect OS X 10.12 to launch around September or October, around the same time the next major update to iOS is due.