Firefox users will probably be really happy to know that Mozilla has just made the Firefox 4 Beta 1 version available for download, and it features some great new additions many would appreciate.
Note: this is a Firefox 4 Beta version, so it is not a complete release and could have some bugs. Moreover, some add-ons you have been using in your current Firefox version may not be compatible with the new Firefox 4 Beta version just yet. Also remember, based on feedback and use, Mozilla is fine tuning Firefox 4 and is aiming to release a newer (and updated) version of FF 4 Beta every 2-3 weeks.
Besides the features outlined below, you can check out the the Firefox 4 Beta 1 Release Notes for complete details of what is new. Download link provided below.
Off the start, the new Firefox features a brand new look, moving the tabs on top to provide an enhanced browsing experience. Moreover, for Windows 7 or Vista users, the Menu bar is now a single Firefox button to get rid of some of the clutter. This will soon be available for Linux and Mac as well.
Main Firefox 4 Beta Version 1 Features:
New Add-Ons Manager: gives you more space to manage your Add-Ons, Themes and Plugins. Customizing your browser has never been easier!
HD Video: Watch hardware-accelerated, super-smooth, HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.
Privacy improvements: Mozilla always puts privacy first, and this latest beta fixes flaws in some Web standards that could expose your browser history.
Crash Protection: Experience uninterrupted browsing (now available on all platforms) – when a plugin crashes or freezes, you can resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.
Performance: We know that performance is important. In this version, we focused on improving responsiveness at start-up and during page loads. This is just the beginning for performance improvements in Firefox 4.
Changes for Web Developers:
HTML5 Parser: Run the best Web apps of today and tomorrow – if a user’s browser doesn’t support HTML5, they still won’t miss out on your content.
WebSockets: Build real-time, online interactions like gaming and chatting.
IndexedDB: Use structured storage in your Web applications to speed them up or provide offline support.
Web Console: Peek into dynamic websites with this experimental “Heads Up Display” analysis tool.
Simpler Add-On Development: Authors can create Add-Ons that don’t require a restart to install, develop their Add-Ons more quickly using the new powerful Jetpack SDK, and safely connect to existing libraries using js-ctypes.
For a full list of Web technologies supported by Firefox check out our “big chart o’ features.”
There will be much more to test in future beta releases and not everything that you see in this beta is guaranteed to be in Firefox 4. That’s why we need your feedback to help shape Firefox 4. To make it easier to give feedback, Firefox
4 Beta includes a new Feedback Add-On. Any time you run across something you like or don’t like, just click the Feedback button and tell us about it. The Add-On also includes Mozilla Labs’ Test Pilot , and will ask you to take part in anonymous studies. You can choose to opt-out of any or all studies by managing your settings in the Feedback button (no data will be sent to Mozilla without your permission).