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   ► KBIT Water-Coo...Windows Users   Print This     
  From the June 2011 Issue of Prestwood eMag
 
Windows Users:
A Quick Look at Firefox 4
 
Posted 6 years ago on 4/8/2011 and updated 6/27/2011
Take Away:

Firefox 4; A look at some of the interesting new developments and improvements in Mozilla's newest release of their web browser, Firefox.

KB102274



Firefox 4 was just recently released a few months back and there are several new and interesting features to be had in Mozilla's newest version. Let's go ahead and take a quick look at what they've delivered.

Firefox has finally joined the browser ranks which takes advantage of your processing power.
[The] new UI has also gone through quite the face-lift with several changes...
--Eric Prestwood
--Eric Prestwood

In the new features category, Mozilla's served up some interesting ingredients including:

  • Firefox Sync; this is now an included feature that allows you to maintain a consistent environment across any device using Firefox. This includes book​mark​s, history, pass​word​s and ​open​ tabs. This is particularly to Android smart phone users who don't want to hassle with manually syncing a preexisting browser environment.
  • A new add-on manager that succeeds in making an already comfortable add-on experience even more cohesive.
  • Improved HTML 5; not new but still worth mentioning with expanded functionality within web based applications such as drag and drop and advanced photo editing.
  • Improved Crash protection; isolation between tabs allows the browser to stay up and running even if a tab encounters an error. Said error will close a single tab but wont take down an entire browser if multiple tabs are up and running.
  • Hardware acceleration; that's right, Firefox has finally joined the browser ranks which takes advantage of your processing power during rendering video and graphics.
  • Quite A few new UI changes as well including "App Tabs," tabs organized by group and easy switching between tabs using the URL bar. More on these a little later.

Although all of the new features we're seeing in Fire fox's fourth major update really are fantastic, it doesn't stop there. You'll also see a very considerable increase in speed in several areas. Firefox 4 has implemented a new JavaScript engine, JgerMonkey, which, according to the Firefox release notes, is up to six times faster than the engine used in FF 3.6. Take a peek below for a further look at the recent speed increases according to Mozilla.

fasterBrowsingSpeed

Firefox's new UI has also gone through quite the face-lift with several changes to push it more toward what is turning out to be the current browser standard: the minimalist look. The windows title bar has been removed completely to save space and tabs have now been moved to the top of the screen after other popular browser fashion. The menu bar also defaults to hidden now and is brought back by pressing the "alt" key. Moving further down, the bookmarks button is now stationed to the right of the URL bar instead of being hidden inside of a menu.

One of my favorite additions to Firefox 4 is what Firefox calls "app tabs." App tabs are an option to minimize a tab to the left-hand side by right clicking on them and selecting "pin as app tab."

My two cents: I love organization and this allows me to push websites I use often on to the wing which allows me to quickly go back to them when needed.

Firefox has also enabled the use of the URL bar as a tab search; this would allow a person, in the case of having many tabs open, to use the URL bar as a tool to pull up tabs that may require a bit of digging to get to.

FF4Screenshot

There are several other impressive improvements that are worth noting such as:

  • Full support for CSS3 transforms and transitions
  • Greatly enhanced support for CSS3 animations
  • Further support for WebGL 3D Graphics; Google's new WebM open source video codec
  • OpenType font rendering

All in all, Firefox 4 is a solid browser with over 70 million downloads at the time of this articles.


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