You likely noticed a few changes this past week if you're a regular Mozilla browser user as the latest Firefox version, number 29, offers more than a few re-designed tools, a refreshed interface and what Mozilla claims is the most customizable Firefox yet.
In a blog post the open source non-profit claims all the new elements and strategy for Firefox is built around boosting more user control, flexibility and innovation.
"In the nearly 10 years since we first launched Firefox, it has grown to be the trusted and most customizable browser of choice for half a billion people worldwide. We reimagined and redesigned Firefox to reflect how you use the Web today and we are excited to introduce many features including an elegant and fun design, new menu, customization mode and an enhanced Firefox Sync service powered by Firefox Accounts," states the Mozilla blog.
The revamp comes at a big time in Web browser history. Internet Explorer, due to security vulnerability, was not so gently pushed to the sidelines in the last two weeks though Microsoft finally came through with a security fix earlier last week. Firefox, nearly a decade old, has long been revered as the most secure browser to use but is till lagging way behind the use of Chrome.
So what's new with Firefox? What's gone in Firefox? Here's a rundown of what Mozilla changed in Firefox this time.
The Sync Change: There is now an enhanced Firefox Sync service powered by Firefox Accounts that Mozilla claims is simpler to use
Design Changes: Tabs are "sleek and smooth" and the current one takes precedence as tabs not being used fall into the background.
The Menu Moved: The Firefox menu is in the right corner and holding all the browser controls.
Customize This: The new menu holds the key to customization with a "Customization tool" where you can move features or add-ons or add on.
Bookmark This: User can create a bookmark with a single click.
"We looked at every piece of Firefox and made everything more enjoyable and easier to use - even bookmarks. You can create bookmarks with a single click and manage them from the same place," states Mozilla in its blog.
There is also a wide-ranging list of Web platform and Developer tools updates. Find out more here.
But as published reports reveal, not everyone is as happy as Mozilla about all the Firefox 'enhancements.'
As one reviewer notes the new design is very Chrome-like which is good if you like Chrome, bad if you don't like Chrome.
"What's for certain, if you haven't tried Firefox in a little while it's definitely worth giving this latest version a go," states the review.
As another reviewer reveals, sometimes changing things just to be changing things isn't necessary or needed or wanted.
"There is one rule about commonly used user interfaces (UI) it should be "if it works, it don't need fixin'!" - modify according to your region's vernacular. Another one is to test a UI with actual users first, which in this case would have shown that many quite popular add-ons lose utility without the status bar," states Spendmatters.com.
The site notes features that are gone such as small buttons, new toolbar, add-on bar, tabs on the bottom.
"Upgrades are usually better. Some might be controversial, but as a rule features don't go away!" it states.