Firefox 4 Beta 1 is now ready to download and test. This first version gives an early look at what?s planned for Firefox 4.
Mozilla plans to release new beta versions every two to three weeks. The company is asking for users' feedback ito help shape the product .
Firefox 4 Beta 1 includes major features and improvements.
If you are using a Windows PC, the most noticeable new feature will be the look of the browser. Mozilla moved the tabs to the top to make it easier to focus on the web content and easier to control the tools in your Web browser. Also, if you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista the Menu bar was replaced with a single Firefox button so you can get to the most used options with just one click. These changes will be coming soon for Mac and Linux.
There is a lot more to this beta than a facelift on Windows, including:
- New Add-Ons Manager: gives you more space to manage your Add-Ons, Themes and Plugins.
- HD Video: Watch hardware-accelerated HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.
- Privacy improvements: This latest beta fixes flaws in some Web standards that could expose your browser history.
- Crash Protection: Experience uninterrupted browsing (now available on all platforms) ? when a plugin crashes or freezes, you can resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.
- Performance: In this version, Mozilla focused on improving responsiveness at start-up and during page loads.
Web developers will be interested in some of the changes Mozilla has made under the hood:
- HTML5 Parser: Run the best Web apps of today and tomorrow ? if a user?s browser doesn?t support HTML5, they still won?t miss out on your content.
- WebSockets: Build real-time, online interactions like gaming and chatting.
- IndexedDB: Use structured storage in your Web applications to speed them up or provide offline support.
- Web Console: Peek into dynamic websites with this experimental "Heads Up Display" analysis tool.
- Simpler Add-On Development: Authors can create Add-Ons that don?t require a restart to install, develop their Add-Ons more quickly using the new powerful Jetpack SDK, and safely connect to existing libraries using js-ctypes.
- For a full list of Web technologies supported by Firefox check out Mozilla's "big chart o? features."
To make it easier to give feedback, Firefox 4 Beta includes a new Feedback Add-On. Any time you run across something you like or don?t like, just click the Feedback button and tell Mozilla about it.
Download Firefox 4 Beta here