Firefox 4 has its first Beta Release

Its Firefox time people, after all this wait, the first Beta of Firefox 4 is available now . Firefox 4 aims to bring more for both end users and web developers and its clearly visible with this beta release. Hardware acceleration for HD quality HTML5 videos, the plugin protective feature is now supported on all platforms, web sockets, new addon manager and a lot more. So, while you are downloading it, let me show you some of its features.

UI Improvements

In case you have not been in touch with the development plans of Firefox 4, one of the primary focus for this release was to come up with a sleak interface, introduction of incontent UI waving good-bye to dialog boxes.

In order to improve the UI, the windows version got a Facelift by moving the tabs at the top(like Chrome does) to save space.This feature will soon be introduced in Mac and Linux.

Addon Manager

Probably the best example of this incontent UI is the new and improved Addon Manager.

Improved Privacy

Remember we talked about browser fingerprinting a few months ago. One of the primary tool to do so was a user's history. Just imagine, hundreds of thousands of URLs combined with a lot of other such stuff(screen-size, fonts etc.) are enough to identify a host. This problem has been taken care of in the new Firefox 4. Now, websites won't be able to browse through your history, thus maintaining your privacy. Great Job! Firefox Devs.

Hardware acceleration and WebM support

The WebM technology has been adopted by various websites as a solution to HTML5 videos; the biggest being Youtube ofcourse. And with this beta release you can watch hardware-accelerated, super-smooth, HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.

Addon Improvements for both Users and Developers

From this Beta, you can forget about the days when you had to restart the browser to install a new Addon. With the new and powerful Jetpack SDK addon development is quicker and simpler now.

A lot for Web Developers

The new Firefox 4 has HTML5 parser, Web sockets, IndexedDB to provide offline storage, a web console to let you take a look at Dynamic websites. Check out the full list of web technologies supported by this Beta.

Performance Improvements

Developers have worked on improving the responsiveness at browser startups and page loads. As they say, "This is just the beginning for performance improvements in Firefox4". There is a lot to come and if you want to help improve your favourite browser, do provide feedbacks. This time they even have a great way to take user feedbacks, using a pre-installed addon.

Check out the release notes for more changes and improvements.

5 Comments

Anon Linuxer (not verified)
July 7th, 2010 06:57 am
how does it fare on older, single-processor computers?
CMD (not verified)
July 7th, 2010 07:34 am
I'm still not keen on tabs-on-top, it just feels wrong, there should be an option to revert to tabs underneath.
Matt Brubeck (not verified)
July 7th, 2010 10:31 am
There is an option to move tabs back below the address bar.
Columbus DJ (not verified)
July 21st, 2010 10:03 am

I'm a relatively new Firefox user as it is... version 4 sounds like it will be a heck of an improvement. Its just so much "cleaner" than IE... less problems and the addons are awesome. Looking forward to trying this... actually, this is the first I've heard of it... unfortunately I still seem to use IE a lot out of habit...

Sri (not verified)
August 4th, 2010 01:35 pm
You can find an indexed db playground at http://tinyurl.com/ff-idxdb. It has examples for the APIs. Wrote it since I could not find documentation elsewhere. Hope it helps.

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