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Firefox update brings major change

By Penina Finger | Resources | May 6, 2014

The latest Firefox update has been released for general consumption and it’s loaded with big changes.

The most striking, of course, is the way the overall interface has been sleekified and rearranged. The default tool bar has been stripped completely clean, giving users the option to add only the tools they want. And adding those tools is super convenient: the Customize link is easily found on the new dropdown menu. A drag and drop page allows you to place tools and functions where they make the most sense to you. The only items you can’t move are the address field and dropdown menu icon (so you don’t inadvertently lock yourself out of the interface).

firefox-interface-customize

One thing you may have noticed even before the new UI is the tabs. Firstly—no second, first is that they’re very pretty—the difference between the inactive tabs and the active tab is much more dramatic. While I question the overall need (I personally wasn’t aware that the old inactive tabs were distracting) it does make for a much cleaner look. And, well, they’re pretty.

These visible changes reflect four priorities for the massive update:

  1. To give Firefox users their most beautiful, deeply designed experience to date.
  2. To streamline and declutter the default interface—in a sense, cleaning the slate—providing a versatile experience for the way people are using browsers today.
  3. To make it easier for more users to customize their browser.
  4. To improve consistency across multiple devices.

Ultimately, Mozilla aims to lay a foundation for seamlessly accommodating future features, and wants to make the browser’s inevitable growth and changes less of a roller coaster ride for users. While predicting the future of the web is a less-than-perfect science, it’s clear a great deal of careful and inspired thought has been put into this release.

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  • Danilo Prado

    Does anyone also have the impression that its faster? I do believe so…

    • penina

      We’ve been debating that here. It may depend on how you use your browser.

    • Tim

      It is actually A LOT faster in my tests.

  • dewebkiller

    The browser crashes when opened much more tab and also the script error message and doesn’t respond it until it’s restarted. Does any face these problem or its just me.

  • MadaMag

    I disagree with the opinion about tabs. The inactive ones are almost invisible, thus hard to find the one I want to activate.
    Also, I’m mad, that they disabled the option of putting the address bar above the tabs. I read the explanation when the address bar inside the tab was introduced, and I disagreed back then. For me tab is connected to it’s contents, also when changing the tabs (as I often do) is easier without moving every time above the address bar (It also makes working with keyboard navigation so much easier). They left the option to personal preference with easy tweak in config. Now the option in config still exists, but it doesn’t work.
    Also, I removed the Dropdown icon without any problems by simply pulling it down the customize menu (as I had the classic menu up even directly after the update).

    Though, Firefox can be working faster. Not that it makes much difference for my mobile connection internet for PC…

  • Andy

    shame they locked the refresh/stop icon into the address bar. i like my home and refresh buttons on the left. if i wanted them on the right i’d use IE

  • Elaine Schön

    Obviously the writer likes the new version. Honestly, I don’t. I don’t want to relearn where everything is and I like to see all of the options. There are four priorities four this change listed in the article, and although the writer listed it as fourth, I believe that the main reason is “to improve consistency across multiple devices.” The new version of Firefox is starting to look like the layout out of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc… where all your options are on the right. Also all the boxes are more in the style for tablets, etc. To me, it just takes up more space. I’d rather have the bookmarks open in a new window instead of fighting for space with the page I’m on. I’d rather have a neat list of my options than a ton of boxes that I have to look through. The older Firefox is more compatible with me

  • Jan

    Newest version has really annoying bug on windows. When you close the browser window it doesn’t clear itself from the memory and windows will not open it again until you close it using task manager. Boo!