Mozilla targets Firefox 56, out in the second half of 2017, as the first version to feature the organization's new Activity Stream new tab page.
So what is Activity Stream, and what is the plan to integrate the feature into Firefox 56?
Activity Stream has been designed to replace the current new tab page (about:newtab) and home page (about:home) of the Firefox web browser.
Firefox displays a search field and pinned or popular sites on the new tab page by default currently.
The about:home page displays a search field as well, but also links to various Firefox features such as downloads, add-ons, sync or options. This page is only displayed until the user changes the homepage, or selects to open the previous browsing session.
Activity Stream changes what is displayed on these pages. The page features a search at the top which Firefox users can utilize to search using the default search engine.
Below that is a selection of six popular sites called top sites. While it is not possible currently to edit these sites or pin others to the top sites listing, it is Mozilla's plan to introduce the feature before the final version lands in Firefox 56.
You find highlights below the top sites listing. Activity Stream uses an algorithm to determine important sites that you visited in the past, to list them in the highlight section.
These are displayed with large thumbnails, page titles, URLs, a short description, and the last time the page was visited.
The recent activity is displayed in chronological order below the highlights section.
You can right-click on items listed there to perform regular link actions such as opening links in a new window or copying link locations.
When you hover over an item on the Activity Stream page, and click on the menu icon that appears, additional options are revealed.
That menu is not final, but it enables you to delete an item from Firefox's history, to bookmark a page, or share it using various sharing options.
Mozilla's development team wants to reach feature parity with all core New Tab Page features that are currently available before it releases Activity Stream.
Firefox 56 will be released on October 3rd, 2017. The Activity Stream team targets Firefox 56 for the first initial integration of the feature in Firefox, but depending on how development progresses, it may be delayed after all.
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