Mozilla plans to launch the three new Test Pilot experiments Voice Fill, Notes and Send for the Firefox web browser soon.
Voice Fill adds voice commands for running searches on search engines to Firefox, Notes adds notepad functionality, and Send an option to transfer files securely by using encryption.
Mozilla launched the first wave of Test Pilot experiments back in May 2016, and new experiments regularly afterwards.
Experiments are designed to gather user feedback, telemetry and interest. We have reviewed all experiments that Mozilla released so far:
- Firefox Containers -- create and use Containers in Firefox to separate browsing sessions
- Activity Stream -- adds content to the New Tab page.
- No More 404s -- helps when a site displays a 404 error code
- Page Shot -- capture screenshots.
- Tab Center -- moves tabs to the sidebar.
- Min Vid -- display videos in a small overlay in the browser UI
- Tracking Protection -- block trackers when enabled.
- Cliqz -- adds rich suggestions to Firefox.
- Universal Search -- adds recommendations to search.
- Snooze Tabs -- sleep tabs to hide them from the Firefox tab bar.
- Pulse -- option to report to Mozilla whether a site works in Firefox.
Not all experiments are turned into native Firefox features. Some are, Activity Stream and Page Shot for instance.
Update: The new experiments are now live on the Testpilot website.
Speech recognition comes to Firefox. Voice Fill lets you speak to your favorite search engine. I was not able to test this yet unfortunately.
The GitHub page states that it adds speech to text support to web pages as an input method.
A simple notepad built into Firefox. Ever need to jot something down while you browse the web? This is the experiment for you.
Notes adds a note interface to the browser's sidebar. It is as simple as it gets right now. You can add text to the notes interface, and use some formatting options such as using bold, or adding lists.
Notes can be synchronized, but there is no option to save different notes. All you get is a single notes document that you can edit.
This can be useful for writing down information quickly. May be useful to Firefox users who use a plain text editor for that instead when they need to write something down.
Not as powerful as the note taking feature of the Vivaldi browser (which supports different notes, search, different sort options).
Encrypt and send files with a link that automatically expires to ensure your important documents don't stay online forever.
Send is probably my favorite feature of the three as it enables encrypted file sharing from within Firefox. You can try it out without using Firefox by visiting https://send.firefox.com/ directly.
You may use it to share a file with a size of up to 1 Gigabyte to another user in encrypted form. Links are set to expire automatically. You need to share these links with the recipients so that they can download the files.
The Send Test Pilot add-on integrates Send more deeply into the browser.
Mozilla will launch these three experiments soon on the Firefox Test Pilot website. You can test some of them right away by visiting the Github project pages of these extensions:
Notes is a bit bare bones for my taste, it could use support for taking different notes and screenshot support.
Send is a handy file sharing service that could snag away quite a few users from third-party file sharing services. It could become a financial burden however if abused, or if it becomes really popular.
Now You: Notes, Send and Voice Fill, which of these experiments are you looking forward to the most, and why?