Firefox 4 is featurepacked and available to download

first_imgAs promised, Mozilla has today officially launched the final version of Firefox 4 and with it brought some of the biggest changes to the Firefox web browser for quite some time.Lets start with the new interface which has been completely redesigned to get out of your way. In reality that means more screen real estate for web pages, and more functionality hidden away behind a buttons.Tabs now appear by default above the address bar and therefore take up less space as they sit where the window bar used to be. To the left of your tabs is a Firefox button which hides many of the links and menus you’d find on the typical menu bar, which is also missing from the default interface. On the far right is a small Bookmarks button giving access to the usual list of links, and above that is a Home button.The layout can be changed to make it more like Firefox 3.x though, but in general this layout does seem to be a progression we as users should embrace as it frees up the screen.One of the major improvements Firefox 4 introduces is something called Tab Groups (formerly Tab Candy and also referred to as Panorama). This is going to please anyone who gets frustrated managing lots of tabs all the time, and something we have previewed before. Basically, it allows you to assign each tab a group, then Firefox will only display the tabs in an active group on the tab bar (think of it like having multiple desktop views, but within your browser). If you want to see tabs in another group you simply click the Tab Group icon which brings up the groups, and select the tab you want. You can also right-click a tab and move it to a group. Once you’ve used this organization feature a few times you’ll wonder how you coped without it.While you’re exploring this new found tab paradise you may also notice web pages rendering faster. That’s the new JavaScript engine which is touted as being up to 6x faster than that used in Firefox 3.x. Staying with performance features there’s also WebGL support for 3D on the web, and hardware acceleration taking advantage of OpenGL, Direct2D and Direct3D on your machine’s GPU. There’s also crash protection in case a plug-in like Flash dies so as to not crash the whole browser.Mozilla has also taken on board the fact we don’t just use one point of access for the web anymore. You may have a main PC, netbook, smartphone, and tablet. The Sync features allows the same Firefox experience to be accessed across multiple devices. So you get all your bookmarks, passwords, history, and even open tabs automatically fed to each device.There’s also a bunch of new security and personalization features to help make the upgrade to Firefox 4 compelling. After just half an hour of use I am happy with the new browser and don’t think I’ll be looking back too often, if at all. Mozilla certainly looks to have delivered with this release.Firefox 4 is available now as a 12MB download which will act as both a new install or an upgrade. I can confirm that all your bookmarks and preferences seem to be carried over to the new browser, but it’s worth doing a backup of your bookmarks anyway before doing the upgrade.via Mozillalast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *