Mozilla has released Firefox 29, the most significant overhaul of its Web browser since 2011.
The latest version of Firefox incorporates a sleeker design and several features that have already been a part of other Web browsers. In many ways, Firefox 29 plays catch up to Chrome, a rival made by Google.
Fortunately for Mozilla, Firefox 29 arrives at a perfect time. Microsoft this week issued a warning to users of Internet Explorer, letting them know of a major bug that will not be patched until May 13.
Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac users can download the latest version of Firefox today. Below are the most significant new features of the new browser.
1. Sleek, curved tabs
The look of Firefox has shifted away from a straight-edged, blocky design to one that more highly incorporates the use of curves. This is most noticeable within Firefox 29's tabs, which now strongly resemble those of Google Chrome.
But unlike Chrome, Firefox makes an effort to highlight the tab users are currently viewing and fade away all others to eliminate distractions.
2. Firefox Menu
Mozilla has added a new "Firefox Menu" that is designed to make it easier for users to find some of the key features of Firefox, including the new window, new private window, preferences and several other options. Previously, these features were a little more tucked away.
Within the Firefox Menu, users will find a "Customize" option. Clicking that will allow users to pick and choose what features they want in the menu as well as other parts of the browser. Users can change the features they include in the navigation bar and they can flip flop the URL field with the search field. Users can also eliminate the search field altogether and make Firefox 29 look even more like Google Chrome.
4. Firefox Sync
Mozilla has also introduced what it calls Enhanced Firefox Sync service. This feature makes it possible for users to easily transfer their Firefox features -- including their settings, their history, their bookmarks and more -- from one device to another. By creating a Firefox account, users can transfer their features from computer to computer or to the mobile, Android version of Firefox.
Previous versions of Firefox Sync have existed, but this version makes the process much easier to use. This is another feature already found on Chrome as well as Apple's Safari browser.
5. Easy-to-find bookmarks
In Firefox 29, Mozilla has made it easier for users to manage and find their bookmarks. A bookmark manager icon is now found within the navigation bar, next to the star icon that is used to bookmark pages. The new icon highlights users' bookmarks more prominently.
Bonus Easter Egg
When customizing, users will find a special Easter Egg by removing every single feature from the Firefox Menu. The Easter Egg is a silly unicorn that bounces around the completely cleared Firefox Menu.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun