Firefox 11, What's New, What Has Changed

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 24, 2011
Updated • Mar 11, 2015

Mozilla has released new Firefox versions for all channels in the past days. We have seen the release of Firefox 9 stable, shortly followed by the 9.0.1 release fix, Firefox 10 Beta, Firefox 11 Aurora and Firefox 12 Nightly.

Firefox 11 Stable will be released in 3 months. Users running the version of the browser right now might be interested in the changes and new features that Mozilla has implemented into the browser.

Firefox 11 is all about web standards support. Firefox users not interested in web development won't find new features or changes that impact their daily browsing habits. The feature coming nearest to this is support for SPDY, a transport protocol designed by Google to replace HTTP eventually. The protocol is currently only supported by a handful of web properties and applications. Google Chrome supports it, as do the majority of Google properties.

The protocol offers several benefits over standard HTTP. Connections will always run on SSL (no eavesdropping), servers should see reduced load and high latency users should see improved page loading times.

The preference is off by default. Users who want to enable the feature need to enter about:config into the Firefox address bar and filter for the term network.http.spdy.enabled in the preferences window. A double-click on the preference sets it to true which means that it is enabled.

A new battery API has been introduced in Firefox 11, which can provide web developers with information about the device's battery status among other things.

Web developers do also benefit from new web development tools added to Firefox 11. This includes free-form style sheet editing and 3d views of web page structures.

More information about those tools are available here.

A list of all new features of Firefox 11 at the time of writing is available on Mozilla Hacks. Firefox users who have just been switched to Firefox 10 Beta or Firefox 9 Stable can use the posted links to find out what's new in their version of the browser.

Update: Mozilla aims to integrate add-on syncing into Firefox 11 as well. (thanks Kshitij)


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  1. Thomas said on February 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    “The protocol offers several benefits over standard HTTP.”

    Exact words of Microsoft when they “extended” HTTP with MSIE and IIS.

    It’s quite obvious that Google is trying to do the same thing. Money is the goal for Google too: In that sense they are no different than MS and day by day they are looking more and more like mirror images of each other: The other has desktop monopoly and the other search engine monopoly: What is really the difference?

    I can’t see any: Embrace and extend is the policy. And both have extensions full of patent mines, you can bet your life on that. No GPL here, ever.

    Both are in for the money and “do no evil” is something that is distant past for Google: Nowadays they’ll do _anything_ to make more money. And have done, too: Collecting MAC-addressess was just the beginning of “user tracking”-program of theirs.

    Firefox developers are so naive that they fail to see that “their” browser project is used to create a money-making monster for Google and FF is already as unreliable as Google itself is in privacy sense: Even IE is more secure from that angle.

    That’s a dead end, eventually: People don’t like the idea that the “browser” spies on them and reports home (=Google) everything you do, directly.

    No need to use unreliable cookie tracking when you have whole history directly from the browser, when ever you want. “Sandbox” is a meaningless entity when the “browser” is whole OS by itself, it has access to anything and everything. And _that_ is the goal of Google.

    And FF developers are helping as much as they can.

    Nice, isn’t it?

  2. Kshitij said on December 25, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Martin, what about the No UAC prompt during updates, addon syncing? Those are big user focussed changes?? Shouldn’t you have metioned that?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 25, 2011 at 2:42 am

      I have not heard about no UAC prompt during updates, do you have a link that describes the feature? I add the addon sync information right away, even though it is not 100% certain that it will land in FF11.

      1. Kshitij said on December 26, 2011 at 3:55 am

        In windows vista and 7 the UAC prompts with a confirmation dialogue when updating Fx. A “Firefox” service in windows “services.msc” allows updating without further prompts; after you give your consent once, subsequent updates wont show the prompt.
        I just enabled add-on syncing in my sync options.

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on December 26, 2011 at 11:02 am

        Thanks for posting Kshitij, I appreciate it.

  3. YB said on December 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Using Firefox Nightly 64-bit and surprisingly it is very stable

  4. vasa1 said on December 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    “The protocol is currently only supported by a handful of web properties and applications. Google Chrome supports it, as do the majority of Google properties.”

    Would gmail and YouTube become more efficient if SPDY is enabled?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 25, 2011 at 2:44 am

      It is worth a try.

  5. Paul(us) said on December 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    When I will enable the support for SPDY feature will there be any conflict with maybe the HTML function or any outer function?

  6. Damirora said on December 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Hi Martin, there’s a typo in the title “What’d” should be “What’s”.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 25, 2011 at 2:43 am

      Thanks, corrected.

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