What you can expect from Firefox 14 to 17
In ten days, Mozilla is going to release Firefox 14 to the release channel, Firefox 15 to the beta channel, Firefox 16 to Aurora, and move the Nightly channel to Firefox 17. What can users expect from these releases? This is what I'm trying to find out in this little guide to the next versions of the Firefox web browser.
Keep in mind that changes may happen during development, so that some features may not make it in the version that Mozilla intents to release them for.
Before we start, I'd like to quickly write down the release dates of the coming versions so that you know when the new versions are going to hit the channel of the browser that you are working with.
Firefox Release Schedule
- July 17, 2012: Firefox 14 Stable, Firefox 10.0.6 ESR, Firefox 15 Beta, Firefox 16 Aurora, Firefox 17 Nightly
- August 28.2012: Firefox 15 Stable, Firefox 10.0.7 ESR, Firefox 16 Beta, Firefox 17 Aurora, Firefox 18 Nightly
- October 10, 2012: Firefox 16 Stable, Firefox 10.0.8 ESR, Firefox 17 Beta, Firefox 18 Aurora, Firefox 19 Nightly
- November 19, 2012: Firefox 17 Stable, Firefox 17.0 ESR, Firefox 18 Beta, Firefox 19 Aurora, Firefox 20 Nightly
Firefox feature overview
- Hang detector and reporter - Allows Mozilla to collect, analyze and fix browser hangs
- Inline URL autocomplete - A feature that displays a suggestion right when you start typing in the address bar of the browser.
- Silent Updates: Background Updates - Updates the browser in the background, so that the process is faster and not as intrusive to the user's experience.
- In content preferences - A switch from the separate options window to an "about" page that is listing all preferences of the browser. You can read more about it here.
- Incremental garbage collection - Less slow downs due to incremental garbage collection.
- Social integration - This integrates social touch points into the browser, including persistent social notifications into the Firefox toolbar, news feeds, tickers and stuff in the Firefox sidebar, integration of voice, chat, video into docked or floating windows, and integration of share and recommendation services into the Firefox toolbar. Please note that these components appear optional, and will only be available for users who want to use them. You find a mockup below.
- Web Apps integration to desktop - Web app support for desktop versions of the Firefox web browser.
- Windows start up performance improvements - Changes Firefox Prefetch under Windows for faster startup times.
- Opt-in activation for plugins - This is actually one of my most requested features of all time. Plugins are automatically enabled in the browser right now which for obvious reasons is a security issue. While it is possible to remove plugins from Firefox, and configure the browser to stop the automatic plugin installations, it is nothing that regular users are familiar with. Asking the user if plugins should be enabled provides anyone with the means to make that decision.
- OS X 10.7 Support - Plan to support the new features of OS X 10.7 (full screen mode, new scroll bars)
- Panel based download manager - Replaces the old separate download window with an unobtrusive panel that is integrated into the main browser window. Currently, there is an option to restore the old download manager if it is preferred.
- Speedy Session Restore - Make session restore the default state for all Firefox users.Â This feature tries to make session restore browsers start up as fast as browsers that do not restore sessions. This is achieved by a number of features, including tab loading on demand.
- Not now prompt for silent updates - The idea here is to give users a 10-day grace period when incompatible add-ons are found during updates. Instead of updating right away and breaking extensions, Firefox will now wait for ten days to see if add-on updates resolve the situation. After that first grace period, you can select to wait another ten days before the browser gets updated automatically.
When you look at the features page you will notice that the majority of features are not listing a target Firefox version yet. Since some of them sound really cool, I'd like to list them here so that you know what's also coming your way in the future:
- In-browser translation
- network installer
- Improved missing plugins experience
- Plugin-check functionality in add-on manager
- Sync settings
- low-rights Firefox (whole process sandbox)
- Tracking alert that informs users when they are tracked
- Fingerprint minimizing in private browsing mode
- improve authentication state transparency
- Super Reload (clear cache, reset zoom, reload page)
- Network down page to distinguish server not found error message from misspellings
Are you a Firefox user? If you are, is there a particular feature that you are most interested in?Advertisement