Mozilla is testing Firefox View - a feature that allows you to pickup tabs from other devices and access recently closed tabs

Ashwin
Sep 22, 2022
Firefox
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30

Mozilla has added a new feature called Firefox View in the Beta, Developer, and Nightly builds of its browser. It lets you view a list of your recently accessed tabs.

Mozilla introduces Firefox View tab to access recently closed tabs and pickup tabs from other devices
Firefox View tab - Tab Pickup and access recently closed tabs

If you are on the latest version of Firefox's test builds, you may have noticed a new button that has appeared on the left edge toolbar. The button has the Firefox logo on it (similar to Vivaldi and Opera's menu buttons), click on it, and a new tab will open, this is Firefox View.

Firefox View comprises 3 sections, the first of which is Tab Pickup. This section lists 3 recent tabs that you have accessed on your other devices. It displays the tab's title, favicon, URL (on mouse over), a time stamp, and the name of the device that you accessed it on. Right-clicking on a tab displays a context menu similar to the one that is displayed when you click on URLs. Aside from syncing across devices, this feature also pulls tabs from other versions of Firefox that you may have from the same computer, in my case Firefox stable, Nightly, Dev and Beta.

The next section, Recently Closed, as the name suggests, lists the tabs that you closed recently. This includes the tab's title, the link, favicon, and the timestamp when the tab was closed. There is no option to hide specific closed tabs from the list, this might be a problem for some users. The Tab Pickup and Recently Closed sections can be collapsed by clicking on the arrow button next to them.

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Firefox View collapse sections

Left-click on a recently closed tab to restore it (opens in a new tab), this can come in handy, especially if you closed a tab accidentally. I use the Undo Close Tab add-on for this very reason, but it is good to have a native option in the browser. But, the feature has a long way to go. Unlike Tab Pickup, Recently Closed tabs are not synced between devices, i.e., it only lists the tabs that you closed in the current browser. It does not remember the closed tabs from the previous session, so if you close some tabs and exit the browser, the tabs are lost. The extension that I mentioned is capable of remembering closed tabs across sessions.

Lastly, Firefox View has a banner that lets you access Colorways. You can apply the theme with a single-click, switch between themes, and set the intensity level.

How to remove the Firefox View button

Not a fan of the extra button on the toolbar? You can remove the Firefox view button, to do so just right-click on it and select "Remove from the toolbar".

How to remove the Firefox View button from the toolbar

 

You can add it back anytime from the customize toolbar page. Or, you could move it to the overflow menu. You may also access the Firefox View tab directly from the address bar by typing about:firefoxview

add the Firefox View button back to the toolbar

I couldn't find an option under Firefox Sync's settings, to change how Firefox View works. I'm assuming that it probably relies on the "Open tabs" setting to sync the active tabs between your devices.

Firefox View Tab preferences about config

There are a few preferences that are listed under firefox-view in the about:config page. For example, you can disable Firefox View by changing the value of browser.tabs.firefox-view from true to false.

Firefox View is kind of similar to the new tab page on Firefox's mobile browsers, specifically the Jump back in and recently visited sites sections. Even Firefox Sync's menu has a list of tabs that you have opened on other devices. However, the recently closed tabs section is probably what makes the new feature better than the other implementations. I'm surprised that Mozilla didn't choose to include it in the new tab page, but I think this is the best way to do it, without interfering with the current experience.

What do you think about Firefox View?

Summary
Mozilla is testing a new feature called Firefox View to pickup tabs from other devices and access recently closed tabs
Article Name
Mozilla is testing a new feature called Firefox View to pickup tabs from other devices and access recently closed tabs
Description
Mozilla is testing a new feature called Firefox View. Here's how it works.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2022 at 9:44 am
    Reply

    What do I think about Firefox View? A gadget, at first view.

    > “Not a fan of the extra button on the toolbar? You can remove the Firefox view button, to do so just right-click on it and select “Remove from the toolbar”.

    That’ll be most likely my choice. But not because I’d be against extra buttons but rather because I tend to disable whatever doesn’t fit my needs. I’m not saying this gadget won’t be welcomed by others, only that it seems to me that some people over at Mozilla get payed for inventing whatever may, in their view, bring an extra to Firefox, perhaps without considering the pertinence of their inventions. Bloat is our era’s constant enemy.

    1. thebrowser said on September 22, 2022 at 11:31 am
      Reply

      > Bloat is our era’s constant enemy.

      Agreed.

      Features like this I would expect to see in browsers like Vivaldi, since that’s one of the things they stand out for: experimentation and adding tons of features. They already have an integrated email in the browser (not sure if it works on their mobile version though), so this type of thing makes sense to their target audience.

  2. Iron Heart said on September 22, 2022 at 9:54 am
    Reply

    When you sign up for Mozilla’s Sync service, they request your E-Mail address which is personal info. Any connection you establish, which would include Sync, also reveals your IP address. How can you use this service in a privacy-minded fashion if that is the case?
    I mean, you could perhaps create an E-Mail address with bullshit data behind it, and use a VPN, which is something I could immediately think of, but wouldn’t it be better if Mozilla did not request the E-Mail address and was content with an exchange of randomly generated codes? IP address sharing is perhaps not preventable; maybe they could ask a trusted company to act as a proxy for them, in order to anonymize the IP address, but even then you could still merge the datasets across companies. So perhaps it’s on the user alone to implement the IP address precaution (after disabling DoH in FF, that is) here. However, the E-Mail requirement is utter BOGUS.

    Because they do not adhere to data minimalism, I would not trust any of Mozilla’s network services.

    1. Iron Heart said on September 22, 2022 at 9:58 am
      Reply

      PS: Regarding the first picture of that article, what is that eye symbol on the right side supposed to mean? Cheers.

      1. Ashwin said on September 22, 2022 at 11:17 am
        Reply

        The eye symbol is the logo of one of the Colorway themes, you can view their description and preview the colors by clicking the Try Colorways button. There are 6 symbols in the image, one for each theme.

        Basketball – Playmaker
        Crown – Expressionist
        Eye – Visionary
        Headset – Dreamer
        Heart – Activist
        Shoe – Innovator

      2. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2022 at 12:39 pm
        Reply

        @Ashwin, first: thanks for the article; secondly, it’s necessary to differentiate what we think of a product, a service, a feature for ourselves and as a concept. For myself: I’m bound to disable ‘Firefox View’ because as i see it the features it includes are in a way shortcuts to what is already available. As a concept: why not, if it come in handy and given it’s avoidable, even if I continue to believe that browsers tend to create facilities on the ground a majority of users would have an oyster’s IQ. I’m not techie but, hey! being techie is not the problem when being opened to learning is the point!

        About Colorway themes, side-note in fact : I personally don’t use them but who cares? Yet, I thought that Firefox’s Colorway themes was a feature which had been removed a few versions ago…

        You know, or may know, not because I’m a star but given my seniority here, that I’m a fervent user of Firefox, so I aim not to break any of Mozilla’s initiatives. But I try to not mix what I like from what I dislike on the ground I’d globally prefer this to that.

      3. Tom Hawack said on September 22, 2022 at 2:18 pm
        Reply

        Perhaps I’ve skimmed through the article, too quickly. I was on a touch ‘n’ go because occupied by another problematic.

        Reading the article thoroughly now.

        1- Tabs Pickup section lists the 3 recent tabs that you have accessed on your other devices. Aside from syncing across devices, this feature also pulls tabs from other versions of Firefox that you may have from the same computer.

        Opened tabs as I understand it. Only last 3 tabs? There’s a native toolbar button but which only appears on the tabs toolbar once the tabs toolbar is filled with tabs, if I remember correctly (I’ve hidden it given I use the ‘Tabs Keeper’ extension for that purpose’) BUT not on other devices. PLUS : syncs across devices AND pulls tabs from other versions of Firefox. OK, Techie stuff mainly. Not sure cross-device Firefox tabs is a tremendous users’ requirement.

        2- Recently Closed section lists the tabs that you closed recently.

        Firefox’s native History toolbar button does that already.

        3- Firefox View has a banner that lets you access Colorways.

        Who changes a browser’s theme frequently enough to give any pertinence to a quick access to this feature?

        Tom’s score.

        Firefox View, the article : 10/10 (A+).
        Firefox View, the concept : 6/10
        Firefox View, the usefulness for himself (that’s me!) : 0/10

        Merci beaucoup.

      4. Ashwin said on September 23, 2022 at 4:52 am
        Reply

        Hi Tom, I know you’re a veteran commenter here. :)

        Firefox View, in its current state, may not be useful for experienced users like you and me, but the average user could find it helpful. That said, I think it has room for improvement.

        Tab Pickup – Firefox View presents recent tabs in a better way than the way Firefox Sync menu does, the former shows a longer version of a tab’s title, has a proper right-click menu, and the timestamp could be handy for some users.

        The only drawback is the 3-tab limit. It’s kind of silly that a compact menu can list several tabs, but an entire page that’s dedicated to access the recent browsing history can only show 3 recent tabs. There is plenty of space on the left and right side of the screen that they could’ve used to present a bigger list.

        The Recently Closed Tabs section is kind of the opposite, it shows 10 tabs. You’re correct when you say the History section has the same info, but I think Mozilla wants to make the feature more accessible for new users. Displaying all the relevant content in one place can be a good on-boarding experience.

        As for Colorways, I agree with what you said, I don’t think those are good. There are plenty of themes and CSS customizations that do a better job. Allowing the user to personalize the Firefox View tab (and not the entire browser’s UI), would have been a better idea, some people may want options like that.

        I don’t really like having an extra button on the tab bar, but I’m keeping it there just to observe Firefox View’s development.

    2. Yash said on September 22, 2022 at 12:08 pm
      Reply

      I prefer email login. It helps me notify logins from a new device and it also helps to remove old unused sessions.

    3. Karl said on September 22, 2022 at 3:57 pm
      Reply

      @IH

      >When you sign up for Mozilla’s Sync service, they request your E-Mail address which is personal info.

      Just use this

      https://relay.firefox.com/

      1. Iron Heart said on September 22, 2022 at 5:11 pm
        Reply

        @Karl

        That’s not any better or worse than what I proposed, an E-Mail address with bullshit data behind it. Further, the relay has to connect to another E-Mail address.

        I am not interested in using Firefox Sync myself btw.

    4. Aluminum said on September 22, 2022 at 5:00 pm
      Reply

      @Iron
      >Because they do not adhere to data minimalism, I would not trust any of Mozilla’s network services.

      I feel the same way about Brave’s BAT. In order for me to redeem my tokens I have to open an Uphold account and send them a picture of me holding my drivers license. That is way too personal info to give. That is why I have it disabled along with the daily usage ping, Google push messages and others. You could do the same with Firefox, disable data hungry services.

      1. Aluminium said on September 22, 2022 at 6:19 pm
        Reply

        @Aluminium

        > I feel the same way about Brave’s BAT. In order for me to redeem my tokens I have to open an Uphold account and send them a picture of me holding my drivers license.

        That is, if you opt into Brave Rewards. There is money involved here though, depending on jurisdiction an Uphold account can have similar regulations to a bank account, and I don’t believe you can register a bank account without saying who you are.

        But since FF Sync is an optional feature, as is Brave Rewards, your criticism is fair.

        > That is why I have it disabled along with the daily usage ping, Google push messages and others.

        Good.

        > You could do the same with Firefox, disable data hungry services.

        Yes, I know. I never said otherwise.

      2. m3city said on September 23, 2022 at 8:57 am
        Reply

        @Aluminium no 1 and no 2
        So, which one of you is Iron Heart, guys?
        Always remember to check name when answering your own posts. From this time on I’m going to assume that every poster with “metallic” name is the famous Iron Heart.

      3. m3city said on October 21, 2022 at 8:23 pm
        Reply

        Why even bother doing this just to argue with yourself? Like I could understand if they were trying to fake backup their own opinion but to do this just to disagree? Weird…

      4. GoldenArm said on October 21, 2022 at 8:25 pm
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        @m3city

        Hey! What do you have against us metallics?

  3. Thomas said on September 22, 2022 at 12:44 pm
    Reply

    I removed it immediately. I don’t need it and don’t want it. The same goes for “features”. I delete that folder right away after each install with no ill effects.

  4. kuro68k said on September 22, 2022 at 1:26 pm
    Reply

    This would be really useful, if Firefox for Android could actually render the pages I like to visit.

    I’m starting to think that they will never fix it.

    1. Iron Heart said on September 22, 2022 at 1:44 pm
      Reply

      @kuro68k

      If you use it for the extensions… There is the Kiwi Browser which supports extensions as well. Double check whether the pages render there with the same extensions, only then you can say whether it is an “extension issue” or “rendering issue”, if you will.

    2. Yash said on September 22, 2022 at 7:22 pm
      Reply

      Ever reported any page which doesn’t load properly?

      Easier to moan than do any work, it seems.

      1. Iron Heart said on September 23, 2022 at 7:39 am
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        @Yash

        It’s not his job either, it’s Mozilla’s job.

      2. Yash said on September 23, 2022 at 10:12 am
        Reply

        Its his job to atleast name one site or list issues he has reported. But hey that’s not his job but moaning about something without backing it up with something is his job. Sure thing.

      3. Box Street said on September 25, 2022 at 8:10 pm
        Reply

        He’s getting a piece of software completely for free. It’s not a lot to ask him to spend 2 minutes reporting a bug.

  5. Anonymous said on September 22, 2022 at 6:45 pm
    Reply

    I was so furious when I noticed the new button on the upper left that I uninstalled Firefox. Stop introducing new features onto the user interface without getting their approval.

  6. Allwynd said on September 22, 2022 at 7:06 pm
    Reply

    I don’t get all these bloatware features so many browsers love to add, like Opera, Vivaldi, Edge, Firefox.

    Why not keep it nice and clean and offer those as optional extensions and a proper presentation to educate users of their existence and how to easily browse and choose which to add to the browser?

    I just wish browsers focused on few key aspects:

    – speed
    – performance
    – security
    – low file size and memory footprint

    So far seems to me like a lot of browsers lost their way and are just doing things for the sole reason to just simulate activity and probably acquire funding.

    1. m3city said on September 23, 2022 at 9:01 am
      Reply

      @Allwynd
      Do you feel that browsers you use are severly impacted in these areas? I often have tens of tabs opened, restored every session for months and never notice speed/perfor,amce/memory footprint issues. Can’t complain on security as it’s harder to grasp and notice. But based on qty and frequency of CVE’s I feel it’s ok in cases of some browsers and not ok in case of data miner browsers.

      1. Iron Heart said on September 24, 2022 at 3:27 pm
        Reply

        @m3city

        > frequency of CVE’s

        Now jumping on the bullshit bandwagon as well? Firefox ain’t more secure than Chromium, buddy. Firefox is just far less relevant and far less interesting to any malicious party. If Firefox was the dominant browser, you would need daily security patches considering the low security standards of Mozilla.

        https://www.securityweek.com/mozilla-cybersecurity-staff-hit-layoffs

  7. Christoffer Aasted said on October 18, 2022 at 9:02 am
    Reply

    I get that UX departments needs a task everyday at work and I believe this is mostly what we’re witnessing.

  8. 3 said on October 24, 2022 at 2:44 am
    Reply

    this sux, it breaks my web automation

  9. rob cain said on November 1, 2022 at 2:23 pm
    Reply

    as it stands, this feature, completely useless, to anyone. not even new users. simply more job justification & bloat. removed immediately.

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