Find out What's New in Firefox 14

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 27, 2012
Updated • Apr 28, 2012

After taking a second look at Firefox 13, it is time to look at the current aurora version of the Firefox browser. Mozilla plans to introduce many new features in Firefox 14. Some of the features had been announced for previous versions of the browser but were postponed for a variety of reasons.

We have previously discussed a few of the features that Mozilla planed to integrate into Firefox 14. Among them the built-in PDF reader pdf.js, and the new click to play plugin feature to block plugins from being loaded automatically on websites.

Firefox 14.0, What's New

One of the changes in Firefox 14 is the switch from using Google's regular http web search service to the company's https service. This basically means that Firefox 14 will use SSL search by default in all locations where users can search. This includes the browser's address bar, the search form that can be displayed in one of the browser toolbars, and the search on the new about:home page.

A switch to secure search is however not the only change in Firefox 14. The browser features the new panel based downloader which replaces the old download manager window of the browser. You can check out the article Firefox's new download interface which offers details on the new interface, and options to revert back to the old download manager if that is preferred.

firefox downloads

The new incremental garbage collector has already landed in Firefox 13, but it has been set to off in that version of the browser. Mozilla plans to enable the feature in Firefox 14. What it does? It speeds up the garbage collection which is part of Project Snappy, the project to make Firefox more responsive. As of now (that is Firefox 14 Aurora, the feature is still set to false in the browser). Firefox users who would like to enable it for testing purpose can do so by entering about:config into the browser's address bar, filtering for javascript.options.mem.gc_incremental and double-clicking the parameter to change the value from false to true.

javascript options mem gc_incremental

If things go Mozilla's way, the inline url autocomplete feature will finally be implemented into Firefox 14. Originally intended for Firefox 12, then postponed to Firefox 13, and now Firefox 14, the new feature aims to make the browser feel "a lot faster" by auto-completing urls when the user starts typing in the address field of the browser.

Mozilla recently announced that the company would launch a Marketplace for apps soon, with Firefox supporting the installation and management of those applications. It is not clear if the web apps integration will make it into Firefox 14, or if the open issues will prevent the release in that version of the Internet browser.

Firefox 14.0 may also get a new hang detector and reporter, that aids Mozilla in the analysis and fixing of browser hangs, the silent update feature that we discussed earlier, and improvements to the cycle collector which should also improve the responsiveness.


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  1. Sandra G said on July 13, 2012 at 6:51 am

    How do you change the default search engine BACK to Google? I would like to use that search engine rather than the new default one. Or is that no longer an option?

  2. cezi said on April 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    last infection I had 5 years ago, and it wasn’t fault of heavy FX

    slower cold (1st) startup of Firefox is acceptable price for much more convinent browsing + power user possibilities offered by addons

    what really slows & endanger someone browsing is flash and some other plugins (if always enabled),javascripts and 3party spy/advertising ,”social” , frames with bullshits ..
    js+ flash should be allowed only then/when U need it

    …and tweaking of FX is very pleasurable ;)

  3. Peter (NL) said on April 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Why do you need so much add-ons in Firefox ? The more add-ons, the slower a browser will become. Then there is also a security issue with such a big quantity of add-ons.

  4. cezi said on April 29, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Duplicate this tab addon is to be blamed – maybe that helps someone= after disabling it everything even in nightly works ok

  5. cezi said on April 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Yes , I opened Aurora in -safe-mode + in sandboxie = no problem

    It will be v. hard work to find the culprit becouse I have about 170 active addons (+ ~ 60 disabled ) …
    so far I disabled Tab history + Tab scope , = to no avail .

    I switched in options/tabs/ move to new tab immediately , -and now there is no this strange behaviour , but I used to open MANY tabs …
    In today’s Waterfox 12 (as in Fx 12 or Chromium, Opera ) no problems.
    I don’t intent to scare others from migrations to indeed better newer Fx’s , (so far I hadn’t bad expieriences with auroras+ nightlies -even having a lot of addons on 2years profile) but maybe
    get some hint from any geek how to fix it …

  6. cezi said on April 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Since Firefox13 (also in 14,15,) after opening pages in new tabs – I see them loaded but when I switch focus to any of them – it bounce /reload itself back to initial tab from which they all where opened-
    and I must click forward to see it .
    Has it happen to anyone else ?
    I can not google anything about this problem so far …

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      This is not happening on my end in those browsers. Have you tried disabling add-ons that may interfere?

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