Though the final version of the Firefox 29 is expected to be available for the public sometimes in April 2014, the Firefox 29 Beta version is available now. The new Firefox 29 is based on Gecko 29 and it’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android.
The Firefox 29 is powered by Firefox account that enables you to sign in and take your Firefox with your anywhere. Register and confirm your Firefox account and select what to sync such as tabs, bookmarks, passwords, history, desktop add-ons and desktop preferences.
You can simply login to Firefox in any device and access all your synced data. This is amazing as you can log out from office and login at home to access your open tabs, bookmarks, history etc. This method of synchronization is better than the old synchronization key system where you could lose your synced data if you lost your key.
Apart from the cloud synchronization feature of the Firefox 29 Beta update. There are other major highlights such as customization mode and overhauled user interface. The new Firefox Australis UI bring a cleaner look to the browser and includes a new “customization mode” in the pop-out settings menu which contains the tools and also provides space for third-party add-ons to be installed.
Other notable design changes include the curved tab shape and faded tabs to de-emphasize the inactive ones. The customization mode lets you arrange your tools just as you want them. Simply click on the new Menu button and select Customize, drag and drop add-ons or tools to anywhere in the browser.
The tabs are a bit higher in the browser with reshaped tabs tucked out of the heading to reduce clutter and allow users focus more on web content. The bookmark manager is now beside the bookmark star in your Firefox toolbar for one-click saving.
The Firefox drop-down menu has been relocated from the top left of the browser window to the far right, sporting a three horizontal bars design that is identical to that of Google Chrome. Firefox still retains a separate search box in the new UI.
The Firefox 29 Beta underlines three improvements; Client side key stretching, End-to-end encryption and Public key cryptography and the BrowserID protocol. Now let’s see in details all the features and improvements of Firefox 29 Beta.
Check out “What’s New in Firefox 29” and “Known Issues” for this version of Firefox below.
|NEW||A set of new improvements to the Firefox user interface (learn more)|
|NEW||An interactive onboarding tour to guide users through new changes|
|NEW||A redesigned and improved customization mode|
|NEW||The ability to set up Firefox Sync by creating a Firefox account (learn more)|
|NEW||Gamepad API finalized and enabled (learn more)|
|CHANGED||navigator.plugins is no longer enumerable, for user privacy|
|DEVELOPER||‘box-sizing’ (dropping the -moz- prefix) implemented|
|DEVELOPER||SharedWorker enabled by default|
|DEVELOPER||CSS3 variables implemented|
|DEVELOPER||<input type=number> enabled|
|DEVELOPER||<input type=color> implemented and enabled|
|DEVELOPER||Promises enabled by default|
|DEVELOPER||Console object available in Web Workers|
|DEVELOPER||Add-on bar has been removed, content moved to navigation bar|
|DEVELOPER||Enabled ECMAScript Internationalization API|
|FIXED||Echo cancellation on apprtc.appspot.com fails (974537)|
|UNRESOLVED||Text Rendering Issues on Windows 7 with Platform Update KB2670838 (MSIE 10 Prerequisite) or on Windows 8.1 has a workaround (see 812695)|
What does this mean for Firefox 29?
Updates always mean bug fixes, faster and better performance. The Firefox 29 Beta certainly feels snappy in my brief tests, loading pages almost as fast as in Chrome. Google Chrome still remains the fastest web browser.
Peacekeeper benchmark shows that Firefox 29 (scored 2,445 higher is better) is way behind Google Chrome (scored Chrome’s 3,665), but better than Internet Explorer’s (scored 2,093).
Note: All benchmarks were conducted on a Windows 8.1 PC, with a 1.8GHz Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM.
If you are as curious as me you can simply update your Firefox browser to version 29 Beta by clicking on the Help > About Firefox tab on your Firefox browser and update your browser, or if you are concerned much about your security and other things you can wait till April for the final release of the Firefox 29.