Mozilla’s brand new version of Firefox has now hit the Beta stage, and adds a few intriguing new features that existing and new users alike may find quite useful…
The first change that may be noticed is the addition of Firefox Sync by default. Firefox Sync allows you to view all of your passwords, your browsing history, and even your currently open tabs from any device that you’re using Firefox with.
If you have never used it before, you’ll have to set up an account for the add-on (Sync comes bundled with Firefox 4 beta, but an add-on is required to be downloaded for earlier versions) before being able to utilise its features.
With Sync installed across all of the machines that you use with Firefox, you will never have to leave behind your open tabs when leaving a machine, if you’re leaving the office and heading home for example. As long as you have Sync installed on all the devices that you use (even on your Firefox Home iPhone app), you will just be able to pick up where you left off without any hassle (apologies if I sound like a cheesy commercial, but I am genuinely impressed with the features of Sync!).
Another major addition making its debut in Firefox 4 Beta is Firefox Panorama, which I’ve been using for a day or two now, and really like. The idea of Panorama is really simple, but it has been executed well and keeps your tabs nice and tidy for when you need to get to something important.
Say, for example, you have 15 tabs open, full of all sorts of weird and wonderful content that you may, at some point, end up reading (having 15 tabs open at once is a common occurrence on my machine, as I open links in new tabs to ‘read later’, and seldom get round to doing so).
Simply select a certain group of tabs to have only those tabs visible at the top of your browser, so you aren’t distracted by anything else. Simple! By hitting Option + Space on the Mac, or Alt + Space on Windows, you can bring up the Panorama window at any time to change groups or reshuffle your tabs, too.
There are other little goodies hidden away in the new Firefox Beta as well, such as being able to right click a tab and select “Make into app tab” to turn your current tab in to an application tab. For the full change list, take yourself off to the Mozilla website (in a new tab of course, you wouldn’t want to leave so soon, would you?) to take a look for yourself.
If you want to take a look at Firefox 4 Beta for yourself (available for Windows, Linux and Mac), you can download it now.
Have you tried the Firefox 4 Beta? Is it stable enough to use on a daily basis? What do you think to the new features over using Firefox 3.6?