Firefox 10, What's New?

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 13, 2011
Updated • Mar 10, 2015

After having some initial troubles getting my add-ons to work under Firefox 10 Aurora I had time to look at the changes and new features of this release.

Firefox 10 will be the next but one stable release of the web browser which means that stable channel users will have to wait about 12 weeks before they can upgrade their browser to this version.

The official release notes do not paint a pretty picture, new features are scarce. This becomes obvious when you look at the first new feature listed on the release notes page: The forward button is now hidden by default and becomes available only after the user has navigated back. This new change is only available for Windows users currently.

Other changes include anti-aliasing for WebGL, new CSS Style Inspector which can be helpful for web developers, integration of the new full screen API to build full screen web applications and support for CSS3 3D-Transforms.

That's not a lot and nothing to get to excited about. Sören Hentzschel discovered additional under the hood changes in the new browser version. The Customize option that allows Firefox users to drag and drop interface elements to another location is now highlighting screen elements that cannot be moved around.

firefox 10 customize

Other changes include improvements in cursor key scrolling , a better Firefox Sync installation workflow and the ability to display statistics about HTML5 videos via right-click > Show Statistics.

The Firefox development team plans to integrate additional features into the release. Softpedia has published a list that includes a new tab page, better suggestions in the Firefox address bar, the ability to import settings and data from Google Chrome and silent updates which basically updates the web browser without user interaction, much like Google Chrome does.

Have you had the chance to play around with Firefox 10? If so, what is your impression of the web browser and your opinion on the new features introduced in the version?


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  1. Fadi said on February 12, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Up until Firefox 4, Mozilla used to wait until it’s made some ground breaking changes before changing the version number. There was a quadrillion sub versions for Firefox 3 and quite a few years before they moved onto 4. When 4 came out, it was a hella of a big deal and I was pretty quick to download the new version and it was clear they had redesigned the browser from the ground up in a major (and superior) departure from the 3. Ever since 4, they’ve been releasing a new version every few months and it had become a little hard to take their updates seriously due to above mention history.

    At first, I kind of felt that they were in a PR war with the other browsers, trying to get their version numbers nice and high, so that the noobes don’t just download Chrome over Firefox because the former’s at version 17 and the latter is still at 5. After giving my firefox 8, 9 and 10 a try, I am finding them way lighter and much faster then 4 and 5 and light years faster then the 3. At one point I had switched to Chrome (despite my distrust of Google) because I was finding that my Firefox took forever to start but they’ve really optimized the browser.

    So, I think the new editions aren’t bringing much in terms of new features but I think they’re doing alot work under the hood.

    One new feature in 10 which I really like is in the Updates. I usually turn off Automatic updates out of fear that new version off FF will break some of my favorite extensions. The updates function was annoyingly also put on by default and if you forgot to turn it off, you’d have the little surprise to find out that you’ve been bumped up to the new version of Firefox – whether you wanted to or not. This has been my Gripe, my “bête noire”, with updating FF for ages but they’ve actually found a very elegant solution for this: FF10+ will now warn you if the new version will break any of your extensions and you will thus be able to wait until all the developers update their extensions so that they are compatible with the new version. This will make migrations into new version of Firefox much more headache free then before.

  2. jman said on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 am

    “support for CSS3 3D-Transforms” is “not a lot and nothing to get to excited about” to you? This is quite awesome!

  3. pd said on November 14, 2011 at 10:26 am

    ‘new’ features that duplicate (some) Firebug features – badly, brilliant!

    That said, MemShrink is achieving a lot that are not documented as ‘new features’ yet are absolutely critical to the browser’s performance.

  4. Ken Saunders said on November 14, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Firefox 10

    For what it’s worth, it’s unrealistic and unfair to expect major or even any significant user facing feature changes/implementations with a rapid release cycle.

    Not directed at you Caspy7

    1. Caspy7 said on November 14, 2011 at 8:14 am


  5. Tim Cuthbertson said on November 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Yes, I have used Firefox 10. Honestly, I have not noticed a single new thing.


  6. AC said on November 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    If you want to see what Mozilla have planned for Firefox then this is THE page to consult –

    You can see from there that Firefox 10 has 5 major tools for web developers but not a lot else. The thing that people forget is that the Memshrink Project is ongoing, and whilst it was only really talked about when referring to Firefox 7, it’s constantly doing good work in the background and those bug fixes help to make quicker and more responsive with each release.

    I’ve been on the beta channel since early September and I’ve noticed that 7, 8 and 9 have all gradually got better and better in terms of speed and memory usage.. So just because there are no massive new features with a name, doesn’t mean that the latest release isn’t great.

    Lots of major Memshrink Fixes are scheduled to land in Firefox 10 and 11, but if you just look at the release notes in terms of features, whilst it doesn’t look impressive, it’s not telling the whole story.

  7. Caspy7 said on November 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    It may not land till after 10 (I forget what was said), but there is an effort to *assume* that addons are compatible (as most changes from one release to the next do not break addons).
    There would then be a set of test & criteria to see if an addon is truly no longer compatible, then mark it if so.
    This should significantly reduce the issues & angst surrounding incompatible addons, especially third party/non-Mozilla-hosted addons, being incompatible with the newest versions of Firefox.

    Also, hopefully in the next couple of months a long-term support branch for enterprise users will be announced.
    Thus two of the more significant objections to the quicker release cycle will have been answered.

  8. Ken Saunders said on November 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Forgot to add that I’m not ready to give up DOM Inspector or Inspector Widget yet. :)

  9. Ken Saunders said on November 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    “Anonymous says:” That would be me. I forgot to add my info.

    Now I can receive updates. :|

    1. vasa1 said on November 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      While the highlighting in the same page is very convenient, is it possible to copy the selector text for pasting elsewhere? I couldn’t see a way to do that.

      1. vasa1 said on November 16, 2011 at 4:30 am

        Anon, thanks for the link! I couldn’t really make out whether that particular issue was addressed or not, possibly because I didn’t get the meaning/implication of the technical terms.

        I’m concerned because this new Style Editor looks a bit like the one that Chrome has had for a while. But I couldn’t manage to copy/paste there either.

      2. Anon said on November 15, 2011 at 8:47 am
        Style Editor: “Main patch just missed Firefox 10. Test problems being resolved and the patch will be landed again.”

  10. Anonymous said on November 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    The new developer tools are pretty cool.

    DOM Inspector opens in a window. Firefox dev tools allows you to view selectors (etc), edit, and view changes within the page that you’re viewing.

  11. Paul(us) said on November 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Anti-aliasing for WebGL is a great feature and better suggestions in the Firefox address bar is more than welcom. I am looking forward to the new integrate adioneel features like better suggestions in the Firefox address bar and updates to the web browser without user interaction. Is it pointless to mention that speed increase is also nice.

  12. vasa1 said on November 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I just tried the CSS Inspector and it looks quite promising!

  13. vasa1 said on November 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “After having some initial troubles getting my add-ons to work”

    Apart from the about:config trick, they seem to have fixed the ACR as well:
    h t t p : / /

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      Yeah I noticed earlier that they posted an update to the compatibility reporter add-on.

  14. Mohamed Tair said on November 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I Hope that New edition will be speed ^^
    Thanks for the post

  15. Meena Bassem said on November 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm
  16. vasa1 said on November 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    “new CSS Style Inspector which can be helpful for web developers”

    I’ve been using DOM Inspector to get a handle on selectors. Will this CSS Style Inspector do the job?

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