Firefox was released ahead of its release date and is now available for download. It appears it has taken some tips from Chrome in its uninterrupted browsing in the event of a crash and a more minimalistic look. Another Chrome-inspired feature in Firefox 4 is the ability to “pin” Web apps to the tab bar. All you have to do is right click on a webpage and then select Pin as App Tab.
There’s also the addition of no-tracking privacy features but unfortunately it’s an all or nothing approach where you can’t selectively allow certain sites and disallow others.
Also those of you with 3rd party object docks that hover at the top of your desktop might be unhappy that the tabs are now located right at the top of your screen and it may take a while for your favorite addons to update.
If you’re a Firefox fan, I highly recommend this upgrade. If you’re already using Chrome, then well it boils down to personal choice with the more feature rich Firefox or the minimalistic simplicity and speed of Chrome. If you’re using IE, well I won’t judge 😀 (to be fair IE9 is a decent browser).
What’s New in Firefox 4:
Fastest Firefox Ever
- Performance: Firefox is up to six times faster than the previous release. With improved start-up and page load times, speedy Web app performance and hardware accelerated graphics, Firefox is optimized for rich, interactive websites.
- App Tabs: give a permanent home to frequently visited sites like Web mail, Twitter, Pandora, Flickr.
- Switch to Tab: easily find and switch to any open tab from your Awesome Bar without opening duplicate tabs.
- Panorama: drag and drop tabs into manageable groups to save time while navigating many open tabs.
Private and Secure Synchronization
- Firefox Sync: access your Awesome Bar history, bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form data across multiple computers and mobile devices.
Private and Secure
- Do Not Track: Firefox is leading the Web towards a universal standard Do Not Track feature that allows users to opt-out of tracking used for behavioral advertising.
- Firefox puts privacy first, fixing flaws in some Web standards to prevent others from accessing your browser history.
- HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS): automatically establishes secure connections to stop “man in the middle” attacks and keep sensitive data safe from interception during the log-in process.
- Content Security Policy (CSP): prevent cross-scripting attacks by allowing sites to explicitly tell the browser which content is legitimate.
Cutting Edge Tools for Web Developers:
- HTML5 support in Firefox includes hardware accelerated, high-definition video (WebM), 3D graphics, offline data storage, professional typography, touchscreen interfaces and the Mozilla Audio API to help create visual experiences for sound and more.
- Firefox 4 also improves existing tools like CSS, Canvas and SVG to enable developers to make exciting Web pages.
- Firefox provides uninterrupted browsing when there is a crash in the Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Silverlight plugins. If one of these plugins crashes or freezes, it won’t affect the rest of Firefox. Simply reload the page to restart the plugin.